a meditation for heartbreak

24 November 2020



Even before it happens, mourn it. Memorise what his fingers feel like when they scratch your head every time you hug him. Slowly feed your grandmother some fruit, and when she has trouble swallowing, know that this is the last time she smiles at you.

Keep a box of tissues ready by your bedside, and another on your desk, just in case. Prepare some Panadol next to a glass of water. Let your lips touch the bottle of Aldi’s wine with every intention of getting to the bottom of an affordable substitute for the therapy you’ve been avoiding.

All your t-shirts once belonged to them. Heartbreak is a rite of passage. Therefore, grieve like you feel the liminality, like you’re hovering in the transition between not wearing their t-shirts anymore, but not throwing them away either. Your own t-shirts are overworn, and smell of sweat. Sweat smells of ordinary summer mornings with them.

Go buy a new notebook when thoughts get too much to keep in. This notebook will soon be gathering dust on the shelf, because it is too pristine for your ugly snot and tears and occasional recollections of how beautiful his eyes are.

Don’t just grieve the small details—grieve big. Collapse at the foot of your bed after you finish those lectures. Rehearse it, grieve like an entire civilisation is about to be swept away by the river (because it is).
Even before it happens, take a few walks out in the cold by yourself. Feel the nothingness, like there’s no one on the streets but you (because there isn’t). Give yourself some practice, like sleeping is for death. Grieve the brown of his eyes, and the way your grandmother could knit with her eyes closed.

Heartbreak is loss without reparations. It takes practice; it begs to be dwelt in. Build a home of it, and one day you’ll walk in and know exactly how many steps it takes to reach the light switch.

Even before it happens, imagine the first time you’ll hug someone after this is over, because that means you’re hoping, desperately, that you’ll survive the apocalypse.

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