When You Hurt

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart

Linda Caroll
5 min readJun 13, 2024
photo by Philipp Cordts on Unsplash

At least six months. That’s how long they say it takes to adjust to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Not to be happy, mind you, but to adjust. To losing a parent for the first time, losing the last parent you had left. To watching cancer take a tiny body you loved with every breath. To someone you loved once walking out the door. Leaving. Door clicks shut. Gone.

Even if you asked them to. Told them to. Softly whispered please, you have to go. Or I will. Because I just can’t anymore, like this. Eyes made of pain.

Stand watching the door closing slowly. Corner of your eye, a hand on the doorknob. Can’t look, can’t connect eyes, can’t do anything but stand there. Remembering hugs at the door. Waving in the driveway. Eyes darting over at the last second. To connect. Then watch the door. Click. Shut.

Sink to the floor softly and cry bitter tears no one hears. Not crying for what was, but for what wasn’t and for what was never going to be and for how long you couldn’t see it. But maybe most of all, cry for the day you finally did see. A midsummer night’s dream. Cupid painted blind.

I don’t think six months, I think twenty four books. Sounds like a thing I can do. Books are more than paper and ink, words and stories. They are fires…

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