One Less Heartbeat

October 10, 2022

The day ends with one less heartbeat than when it began. In the cruelest of ways your life has been forever changed on what seemed like another ordinary day. Now, this day will hold significant meaning and everytime it appears on the calendar you’ll feel it deep in your soul. 

This day is now a day that will separate everything before it and everything after it. It will be a before-and-after transformation that no one deserves and one that is never fully recovered from. It’s incomprehensible to experience a pain like this– to watch as a heartbeat fades and a breath ceases to exist. It’s unfathomable to be faced with a loss of this magnitude.  

While it is them that gets lowered 6-feet-under, pieces of you will now be buried beneath the earth too– the same earth that you can barely find the courage to stand on. You wonder how this can be, while also feeling the undeniable pain that reminds you how real it all truly is. 

You wonder how you will tell people the heartbreak of this day. You wonder how you will comprehend it yourself. Your brain and heart and soul aren’t programmed to accept or understand this type of loss, at least they don’t seem to be. You feel immeasurable pain, which is really a combination of physical ache and emotional devastation– a combination that transforms every single thing it touches. 

You’ve just lost someone irreplaceable.

And when you wonder how you’ll breathe again…

And when you wonder how you’ll be able to stand and face this harsh reality…

And when you wonder when the pain will stop and time will rewind…

And when you wonder if this type of grief is survivable…

You’ll look around and see that it is, there are survivors all around you. There are others that know this unfair absence that now creates empty spaces where someone you love should have been.

With time, you’ll be reminded that while today ends with one less heartbeat than when it began, it still starts and ends with love– undeniable, limitless, never-ending love. An unforgettable love, which is really the greatest and boldest love there is. 

And though today ends with one less heartbeat, that doesn’t mean you are any less of a daughter, or son, or any of the titles used to signify this relationship. It doesn’t mean that your loved one doesn’t hold the same power over your heart whether you were together for five minutes or five decades. Love isn’t defined by time. Influence and connection aren’t defined by time either.

Remember that on your hardest days.

Remember that when grief causes doubt, anger or fear. 

Remember that when people stop asking how you are and especially when they stop asking about the one no longer here. 

The world is filled with one less heartbeat than before. In the cruelest of ways your life has been changed forever. A heartbeat faded and a breath stopped, but love remains. 

Love isn’t defined by time. It’s as harsh and as beautiful as that.

xox, Chels

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A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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