I wouldn’t wish heartache on anyone. At its worst, it feels like death. A missile is launched at the heart, torpedoing one’s sense of being.
What’s funny though is that no matter how much we may feel like we’re dying when loss hits, life goes on. The sun continues to shine, birds sing, and people go about their business. Healing requires a delicate balance of surrendering to pain while observing the life force that adamantly persists.
Last weekend, while looking after my neighbor’s cat, I pondered how life presses on despite all the pain in the world.
My heart was hurting for various reasons, yet the cat, who is still a kitten, felt nothing but curiosity and joie de vivre. While I sat in the bathtub weeping, he charged into the bath curtain, attacking it like a predator. A la Diane Keaton, I oscillated between sobbing and laughing, as I watched the cat almost fall into the water.
I found him in the refrigerator and sitting on my book shelves. He knocked over a box of pasta and snagged my best jeans while attempting to climb up my leg as if it was a tree. He licked my stuffed cat as if it were real. Then I discovered him batting my dried roses. They were flowers I had preserved in memoriam of my own cats. At first I was saddened that he was playing with them, but then thought the action fitting.
The cat was life force in motion. Yet the cat’s cuteness didn’t solve the problem of current loss. He merely collided with it.