My Exquisite Broken Heart

Many Moons ago, I wrote a poem with the line:

my exquisite broken heart bleeds everywhere

Little did I know when I wrote that, that years later, I would be experiencing grief on a level that I had never felt before. At the time, this was meant for a break-up, as I was processing a grief I had felt many times over, each time the pain being unique to my story of Love.

Nothing in my life had prepared me for the beauty of truly letting someone go.

Last week, my Grand Mother- who was a Mother to me, passed away. Though this was expected (she was 90!!!), her death still came as a shock to my system. The grief that I have experienced so far has truly been an altered-state.

The evening of the day she passed, I could feel her presence more strongly than in the last few months of her life. At one point, I reached my hand out to feel her, and felt a warm, soothing presence in the palm of my hand. That was one of the things we loved the most, visiting and holding hands. It is this that I miss today, as my desire to hold her close to me is hanging in my chest.

Yes, it will take some time.

Most people at her funeral shared how she was a beacon of Light and Love. The last time I saw her alive, I could still see the beam of Love that shined from her Soul. I will always remember how she had an endless supply. She taught me the importance of being kind, even in the midst of adversity, and she taught me the importance of forgiveness, something I have struggled with most of my life.

There are innumerous bits of treasure that she shared, so many I could not list all of them. These are the pieces and parts of life that get left behind: the teachings and the Wisdom of our Ancestors. And of course, the Love.

Betty Jane Cumberland- I say your name with the greatest honor, love and gratitude. I miss you deeply, yet you will never be forgotten. Sweet peas, apple pies, roses and tomatoes- this is where I find you now. And in my exquisite broken- open, Heart. Forever.


“There is no death.
Only a change of worlds,
Only a change of worlds.”

– Chief Seattle