Palpable Heart

At the gym this morning, in the middle of my leg extensions, I found myself swimming in tears. Chris Cornell blew into my ears on my iPod; the lyrics and his voice sent me into sensory memory overload.

Pearls that swim the rift of me
Long and weary my road has been
I was lost in the cities
Alone in the hills
No sorrow I feel
For anything I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am a highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

I am not your blowing wind
I am the sky here
I am not your autumn moon
I am the night
The night

I am divorced. I knew it was what I had to do. I know it was the right thing. Never, not even once, have I thought leaving was a mistake. I waited until I knew, beyond any shadow of any doubt, that I had to leave. This has been merciful. Because of this, I am not plagued by doubts. I do not second guess the path I chose, or what that path means for my children.

But that has not kept me from missing my best friend. How is it possible for one vessel to hold so many complicated, swirling emotions? My ex-husband has been my very best friend since I was barely more than a child. We’ve known each other for more than twenty years, and those twenty were not distant years. They were years as friends, then college room-mates, daily companions, confidants. They were years spent picking each other up from broken hearts caused by others, wiping each other’s tears, and being each others’ shelter in the storm. When he asked me to marry him, part of my initial reluctance was that I loved him too much- that he was my best friend, and I couldn’t bear to lose him, like I had all my other love relationships.

And here I stand.

I miss him with a hollow ache that echos inside my soul. I miss our history. I miss intuitive communication and having someone on my side- always. I miss the shared experiences and inside jokes that only come from an honest lifetime of  laughter and mistakes. I miss him. I miss him so much.

And when that guy at the gym smiled at me this morning, all I could think was “No! Where is David?” He is gone. In more ways that I can express, he is gone. My heart cleaves into a million shards- and even so, I know I did the right thing. So I stand up, burry my face in my towel, and move on. I don’t know what else to do.

7 thoughts on “Palpable Heart

  1. That song is awesome.

    I’m sad for you, that you not only lost your marriage but your best friend.

    There’s something in the dichotomy of your ex that I understand in a small way. My Dad has issues and we don’t have a great relationship but at the same time there are memories I have with him that make it hard to deny all he is to me. It’s like they more than one person – I read something about it in Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood last night but can’t find the quote now.

  2. I’m sorry Tracy for this soft hard thing in the midst of all your sharp hard things. Time and faith together will get you to a place where you can think about it all without hurting, but probably never without being sad. It just is sad, and it’s okay to be saddened by it. I hope you remember you have another Best Friend who has always been there for you and who will never, ever disappoint you. I remember having that epiphany in college, that all the constants in my life were actually capable of being slipped out from under me, except my relationship with God, that I could always have.

  3. I am sorry Tracy that you are having to go through this. Allow yourself the time to grieve, grieve the loss of your dreams, future you thought you would have, marriage, and your best friend. Loosing your best friend is almost the hardest part. The rest you can move on and create a new future, dreams, etc, but to loose your best friend hurts the heart.
    I hope you find comfort in the memories and good times, and that you find peace in your new future. Hold onto the assurances you feel.
    Prayers and love!

  4. Not just a divorce but losing your long-time best friend at the same time…that is harder than hard.

    Sometimes I wish we still had some sort of signal to take with us out into the public so people knew we were grieving and would take a little extra care.

    Similar to what Em said above, I don’t know that you will ever stop feeling sad but hopefully, one day, it will stop hurting.

  5. This about broke my heart–I am so extremely, sincerely sorry for your loss and pain.

    bezerkcarrottop said “Sometimes I wish we still had some sort of signal to take with us out into the public so people knew we were grieving and would take a little extra care.”

    I wanted you to know that a newly-divorced mother of three just moved into our ward, to live with her mother. As a member of the RS presidency, I sat down next to them for a second to welcome her, and when I did I thought, “I can’t do anything for Tracy M., but what can I do for this mother?”

    Your post about having a little sign that says “Off Limits” to extra assignments floated into my mind, and, after talking to her for a moment, I asked if she wanted visiting teachers. She said yes, but then hesitated a little, like she wanted to say something else. I told her it was okay to not BE a visiting teacher, because everything was so crazy and mixed-up at the moment. She looked relieved, and agreed that it would be hard to be a VT right now. And behind her, her mother nodded and smiled at me.

    So I hope I can keep learning from your marvelous writings. You have really opened my eyes to the things I can and can’t do to help someone in a similar situation. Thank you for being open and sharing these hard things, because they are making a difference.

  6. Keryn, that makes my day. I am so glad that what I share is helpful to someone, somewhere. It’s so raw and so messy, I know it’s too much for some people- but for those who want to know, I am glad it’s a positive somewhere.

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