A Scarred Heart: Nine Years

“Cause, here’s the thing:
To know how it ends
And still begin to sing it again
As if it might turn out this time
I learned that from a friend of mine” ~ Hadestown 

A hole in your heart

Grief fucking sucks. It is depressing and messy and eternal, or at least lasts as long as you breathe on this earth. Your heart forever has a hole in it. A hole that will be repeatedly emotionally stabbed and every time you think it has healed something will make it burst open again. Anniversaries and birthdays are a given. But sometimes it is more subtle. Songs on the radio (those damn boy bands) a smell evoking a memory, or just a silly thought you yearn to tell them that breaks that scab right back open again. 

It doesn’t matter how may years have past. In some ways it almost makes it harder.

I have said it before, to say time heals wounds is a misnomer. It doesn’t. Time causes the wounds to scar and patiently awaits for them to be torn open again. Time teaches us how to treat and deal with those usually most horrible inopportune moments (and they usually are the most impromptu of times) of stabbing grief.

Whether it is years of self-medicated therapy and sometimes destruction or more constructive bouts of meditative enlightenment or somewhere in the middle where you just learn to take it day by day until it festers and opens all over again. The scar is always there and no matter how much waterproof mascara you have, you will feel it. It is a given.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way, because that is love.


That is love

Much like in life, love is also messy in death. To feel that measure of pain is also to have felt that immense joy and happiness. That euphoria of having loved so deeply, of having a connection that no bond, not even death, can break. It is buried so deep, that yes it scars, leaving an everlasting mark.

A mark I would rather have, then to never experienced the love and bond of sisterhood. As Hermes says in Hadestown “We know how it ends, but we sing it again, and again, and again, anyway.” Because to not would be even more painful. To not would be to guard yourself and never experience human connection. To not, closes your heart, so that it may not be scarred, it might appear perfect, but it isn’t whole, because it never truly experienced life.

Nine Years

For twenty-five incredible years (technically twenty for me) I had my sister. She shaped me into the person I am today, and even though it has been nine years, she is still shaping and guiding my life. Growing up, she was that big sister force balancing protector and instigator seamlessly. She was that constant I could go to for preteen and teenage angst. Regardless at how ridiculous or juvenile it might have seemed, she would be there to listen and offer advice.

The memories we created and the stories we wrote together were in abundance and then just as I was on the cusp of womanhood and she was firmly entrenched in it, it all disappeared. And in its place was a new chapter of challenge, navigating the pain, all consuming immeasurable grief and a brokenly scarred heart.

These last nine years have been a journey in writing that cliched “New Normal” chapter, a phrase I am sure some TV doctor came up with, because human beings are still so emotionally stunted and are unable to deal with the uncomfortable. And grief is uncomfortable.

It is also a testament of love, and THAT is something I would never NOT want to experience, despite knowing how it ends, despite the unimaginable pain, and the scars that are stamped on my heart. I would rather have a scarred heart then a perfect one. A scarred heart has lived, it has felt, and it has loved.


Love and miss you always my beautiful guardian angel. <3

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7 thoughts on “A Scarred Heart: Nine Years

  1. Absolutely beautiful blog post. You gave a voice and validation to feelings and emotions so few of us are able to express. You zeroed in on exactly what grief,growth, love, life throws at us especially on these important days but also when we least expect it to as well as in the silence and quiet times. You also are very special and accomplished and I thank God each and every morning and night for you, your sibs, and Dad that you were given to me. Love you munchkin past all the numbers ❤️

  2. This is written so beautifully and perfect Kate, as always, you capture everything so incredibly perfectly in your writing. I love you SO much, and I have no words… really? I feel like nothing I say will ever be enough. But this post is just perfect. I know your sister is with you, by your side always, and you are making her so proud every single second. You Queen Kate, I love you! Sending you everything, all the hugs smiles and love ❤️ Always thinking of you ❤️

  3. Beautiful post Katie. Grief does suck! It’s approaching one year since my beloved grandad died and I feel like my scars are being ripped open. Your sister is beautiful and although it’s horribly sad, I’m glad you at least had 21 years of your wonderful sister💕 xx

  4. The new normal stuff reminds me of when my mom died. It felt like my entire world had changed irreversibly. I was talking to another person whose mom had passed and she agreed…it pretty much is the “new normal.”

    I honestly felt like I would never be happy again. I’m glad I was wrong. Your sister sounds like an amazing person.

  5. This is so beautifully written with such honestly. I’m so sorry you have to endure that type of loss. She seems like she was magical, and I’m grateful to have read this.

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