Today I had an EKG, an echocardiogram and maybe three pounds of blood drained from my fragile body to investigate a newly discovered heart murmur. My body has taken a hit this year. The stress and sadness has worn on me, exposing my weaknesses to predators who have slowly seeped in and settled down. I don’t feel well. My head pounds, my leg limps, my heart hurts. Of all the soreness in my body, this heartache is the most unsettling. I don’t know anything about biology. I switched majors four times until I settled on psychology to try to self diagnose- a very expensive therapy session. I don’t know much about biology but I can’t help but feel that my heart is broken. My heart has spent most of its life protected in a box but on occasion, it snuck out and was cracked. From those shadowy experiences, I’ve learned that there is no complete healing of a broken heart. There is a dawdling passing of time. There are adjusted levels of happy. There are different people. But there is never a full recovery because that’s what makes love, love. The repercussion of fully letting go is never fully coming back. It’s always hard to be back but how plain would it be to have never gone. But oh boy the throbbing that comes with being back. I think the most defining ache of heartbreak is the emptiness. That painful feeling of every minute. Of never getting that person back. Not the person you lost but the person you became with them. That third person who exists in between you two that only breathes when you’re together. That gorgeous, comfortable soul who is brought to life by two fused hearts. When a heart is broken, that third person is forever gone. You can occasionally reconnect with the distant human but you can never get that third person back. You lose it, you lose that part of you and that part of them. Over what feels like decades, maybe you meet a new person and then you make a new third person and maybe they’re even better. Maybe they’re even better! But they are not the same. And that old joined soul is still lost in space and memory. And it’s ok. Heartbreak has led me to a renewed understanding of myself and new loves and new third people and whole new realities. But even in that new place of bliss and beauty, there hums a distant reminder of the lost souls. Losing my dad, watching my mom lose her husband, watching his parents lose their boy, it is becoming clear that we are all losing different people. We are all losing that magical person we became with him. That person is gone. We will all find ways to work through the agony and the hollowness and the minutes. Time will dull the throbbing but the hum will never go away. I like to think my heart murmur is simply that humming.