I went for a ballet performance last night – Giselle. It was held in a park, partly atop a smallish hill. The place was green, and huge, and packed with people. Like hundreds of people having picnic. Hundreds of people having their picnic while enjoying the ballet.
It was so beautiful. To dance amidst the park, amidst the trees, together with the setting sun, and then under a clear sky sprinkled with stars.
In the story, Giselle dies of a broken heart, betrayed by the man she loves. My very good friend who was with me at the ballet asked, “Can someone really die of a broken heart?”
And her question set me thinking. For all of us who have lost something before – be it an object or a person or a pet or whatever it is that we cherish dearly – there is no denying that moment (or two, or weeks or months or years) of sadness. That feeling of the rug pulled out from under your feet. That instant of disbelief.
At least, that’s what happens to me when I lose something close to my heart. My first feeling is that of unbalance. I remember when I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8 or 9, someone said something to me that really hurt. That someone was a key figure in my life then. And when that someone lost their trust in me, my 8-year-old world crashed around me. That was the first time in my life I felt my heart, when I actually felt my heart hurt. The only way I can describe it is my heart thumped 2-3 inches below where it normally is. And the thud hurt. A lot.
But I am digressing.
Can someone really die of a broken heart? Yes, they can. I was there before. I know.