(19) Emotions of the Wounded Heart
We connect with each other through our wounds.
Rachel Naomi Remen
I experienced so many swirling emotions after surviving this heart attack:
Relief at survival –
Disbelief and anger that it happened –
Grief for everything that was and will be lost –
Gratitude to those who helped –
Extreme vulnerability in a previously safe world –
Fear of what the future might bring –
I had taken my vitality for granted, and assumed that I would have many long and healthy years of life ahead of me. Now, I had no solid ground to stand on. I was profoundly weak from the injury. I never knew whether or not I would wake up the next morning. I doubted that I would ever be able to return to any kind of normal life again.
It is as if I had crossed the River Styx to the Underworld, and was allowed to return to the Land of the Living, temporarily, for an unspecified period of time.
While the journey has certainly been Hellish, at the same time it has given me something important and valuable: I now have an increased compassion for the wounded, a compassion for all those who must cross the River Styx. While the heart attack has broken my heart, it has also opened my heart.