I learned about heartbreak

Dad and son

I learned about heartbreak

again today

in conversation with Sister Jane,

my spiritual director.


In sharing how hard it is to leave

my grandson

when he says he wants me to live with him,

I began to cry.


“I wish you didn’t have to leave,”

he says.

“Maybe you can be a policeman

and work with my dad,

so you can be here all the time.”


Leaving him breaks my heart every time.

This is how it was every morning

when I had to leave my son too,

heading off to work as the family provider.

The two heartbreaks are the same.


Sister Jane asked me to stay in that place

and to see if God was somehow there.

We grew silent.

My tears softened. My nose ran.

At first, I only felt my deep longing.


A nudge came inside after several minutes:

“We long for you too.”

The divine voice wanted me to know

My longing for my son and grandson-

that heartbreak-

is the same

as the Trinity longing for me.

Same longing.

Same heartbreak.


And there was a clear sense

That this is true with all of us:

“We long for each of you.

Our longing is your longing.”


Knowing this changes things,

as I stand before each of my spiritual communities,

and feel the heartbreak of love

with my beloved family and friends.


Now I know

I am being longed for,

as I long for,

and so are we all.

The heartbreak reveals the Love.


About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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4 Responses to I learned about heartbreak

  1. datlilmommy says:

    I share your tears, William. Joy and sorrow mixed together.

  2. William says:

    Thanks Helen

  3. Beth says:

    How wonderful to be loved and wanted so. How hard to leave them. I feel the ache.

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