Songs for Hurting Hearts

I don’t know if you remember, but earlier this year I acquired a new skill: Surviving the Breakup.

It sucked.

Then it got better.

Then it got worse, almost to the point of starting over. 

Then it got better.

Then it got a lot better.

Then it became something that I did not think about every second of every day. Want to know a secret? Sometimes I forget about it. Maybe even for half a day. It’s rare, but it is happening. I am moving on. 

But back to the crappy part…in the first week or two I began seeking songs to communicate how I was feeling. It was kind of a journal for when I didn’t have words. Some of the songs are more “overall sentiment” rather than literal situations. Some are quite literal situations. I can really, really remember shuffling through my days knowing with absolute certainty that I would never be over him. Ever. (Thus, the Colin Hay song.) But that’s kind of how it is when things like that first happen. And you know what? I climbed that mountain of grief, one pebble at a time. I’m getting over it. And him. I don’t want to talk about it too much more other than to give myself a pat on the back and hope that my words give other people hope in their time of despair. 

I have friends going through similar situations. It is bizarre to see so many breakups happen in this year with its unlucky number. I was telling my aunt about that phenomenon the other day and she said she’s seen it in her world, too. Not just this year, but in years that end in 2 or 3. She pointed out that my parents divorced in ’82/’83. Numerical coincidences always catch my attention. 

Anyway, enjoy my sad songs. Let them help you process some bullshit. Or, just be entertained…because they are all great pieces of music. 

What are your go-to sad songs? 


I’ve had an overwhelming two weeks. Part of it is a schedule that is too busy. Moved from the ghost house to the new house. A dear friend from another hemisphere visited OKC for 5 days (and I had a blast hanging out with her). My home office moved from one location to another. The ghost house (all 3,000 sq ft of it) had to be cleaned and repaired in preparation for the arrival of the renters. I caught a cold.

In the middle of all that I had several setbacks related to the other thing. You know…the thing that completely rearranged my life and all the cells in my body (no? well…that’s how it feels…). I hope that one day I will look back on these archives and pat my sweet little melodramatic head. I hope that life moves on with such force that today, May 19, at 10pm on my front porch with a glass of wine and a box of tissues, looks like a tiny little blip. I really hope it does. 

It absolutely doesn’t feel like anything right now but sadness and loss. 

I don’t care that I got to go out to a quadruple birthday party last night in my cute new dress and one of the birthday girls repeatedly called me pretty. 

I don’t care that a guy called me pretty, too.

I don’t care that the ghost house is super clean and nearly finished for my med students to move in this weekend. 

I don’t care that my new office is swanky and kick-ass. I don’t care that it’s going to be cool as hell to work around dozens of creatives in the food industry every day including a large, fully operational catering company packed with event planners, chefs and visionaries. 

I don’t care that this new (old) house feels more like home in 3 weeks than the old house did in 3 months. 

What I do care about is that when I saw him sitting several rows ahead of me next to his mom and step dad today there was a natural space to his left that was only big enough for one person. 

It was empty.

Tonight, alone in the dark, it feels like I’ll never get over this. 



There are a few boxes here and there, but mostly I am unpacked. 

All the furniture is placed. The dishes are in the cupbord. The pantry is stocked. 

On both sides of every street in my neighborhood are magnificent, well-kept sidewalks on which I now run every other morning. I like to head East, then North past the extra nice lawns. 

It feels like home. 

I’m where I would have been had the last 2 1/2 years not happened. Locality-wise, at least. 

And I’m better than I was 2 1/2 years ago. I’ve loved well and often. Horizons were expanded but I’m closer to centered than I’ve ever been. 

I’m grateful.

I’m grateful for the good and grateful for the bad. I’m practicing gratitude daily in my head and out loud for no other reason that it seems to be bringing me peace and joy. It’s wild… I’ve been told my entire life to practice good habits so that they become permanent. I always assumed that advice was intended for things like exercise or flossing, two things that I often fail at. But here I am, diligently practicing gratitude like I would practice Spanish or the guitar. 

However, I am not perfect. 

I get resentful of the mistakes of myself and the people I love(d). I stumble into a dwelling and I dwell. Music haunts me. Words haunt me.  It all pisses me off. Then that pisses me off, because I am donewithgriefalreadyholyshitenoughisenough.

I recall a glorious memory (or twenty) and am hit with the cannonball that they are and only ever will be memories. I try to neatly refold and place them gently back into their boxes. One day I know I’ll want to look at them again, the real ones and the ones in my heart. I don’t want to burn them or tear them or have them destroyed because they were good. At the time, I hadn’t the slightest idea they were in limited supply. I decided it makes them more precious to me now. I choose gratitude. When I’m all wrinkly and gray I’ll want to revisit those times and things, and be glad that they happened. I won’t be sad. I know this, because I already have older boxes on the shelf. They are way smaller, but still important. 

Inevitably, they will all be on a shelf with other boxes I’ve yet to fill. Boxes filled with love and joy and pain and loss. A lifetime of packing and unpacking. Moving. Changing. Learning.

It’s all horrifying and exhilarating. 

Good morning, Uptown! #nofilter #nokidding

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