My heart has been hurting for a few days now, a physical pain, a numb pain like a dull ache. I take a deep breath in very slowly, then out fully, pausing momentarily at the end of the out breath. The natural rhythm within me that I tend to ignore, until moments like this, when nature demands that I pay attention.

The pain doesn't worry me, I gently breathe through it, knowing it'll pass. The pain to me is a distinct indication of where I am within my journey of bereavement. It's now 1326 days since my girl took her final breath and life as I had known it changed dramatically.

The pain is no longer raw, agonising pain that I have to writhe around within in order to cope. It is now a shadow, like a sense of something, a remnant. It's manageable - whole months pass without even a hint of pain. The breath from my own life, keeping it at bay.

When I read this, it helped me to think of it in another way: 

Three routes to healing by Ljeoma Umebinyuo suggests:

  1. You must let the pain visit

  2. You must allow it to teach you

  3. You must not allow it to overstay

I agree.