Can a book save your life? I can only speak from my own experience and what I know is this: a little book entitled, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, by Melba Colgrove, Harold Bloomfield, and Peter McWilliams, saved my life.
The year I turned twenty-three, my life changed forever. My dreams of a fairytale love and a happily- ever-after life were shattered. My marriage of only three years was over; the man I loved was gone.
My heart was filled with so much sorrow I could barely function. I lost count of how many nights I lay crying on the bathroom floor in my small apartment. On one of those nights, I reached for a book a friend had given me with instructions to: “Read this when you cry.” And so I did, night after night, through tear soaked eyes – I read the little book. Then I read it again, and again.
Slowly, over many months and countless readings from the little book, and the support of family, my heart began to heal.
How to Survive the Loss of a Love, is only 120 pages, half of those pages are short, heartfelt poems. For me, the book validated my feelings, explained the process of grief, healing and, most importantly, celebrated the ultimate growth that emerges from having suffered and survived.
Since my healing all those years ago, I have given countless copies of this book to family and friends grieving the loss of a love. I want to share a few poems in the book, written by the authors. These poems resonated for me then, and still speak to my heart:
Grief is a quiet thing
Deadly in repose
A raging horror, a thunder of abuse
Tearing all that one has ever loved.
Fear-ridden and misunderstood;
Ceasing a moment, and through the years
To curse all that is happy –
To threaten every beauty this is true
It’s a quiet thing.
I hope I heal soon. I want to enjoy autumn.
and this one,
One thing I forgot:
After the pain of parting
Comes the happiness of healing.
Rediscovering life, friends, self.
Which was purgatory
Which was hell
And I survived
Through all my tears and suffering, a transformation was underway. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I can see it clearly now. I survived and grew stronger for the experience. I lived to love another day! I also developed great empathy for those who have suffered and survived the loss of a love.
Some thirty years later, I am happy to say, I found my happily-ever-after. Life is good. Right here, right now.
Make it a magical Monday my friends! ~ Namaste