My Tree Bark Heart

When I lost my life mate/soul mate to inoperable kidney cancer a little more than three years ago, people told me that my shattered heart would heal, and that it would grow back bigger. In this respect, apparently, hearts are like tree trunks. The bark on a tree is where the trunk breaks to allow new growth. So now I have a tree bark heart, but instead of being more receptive to love, I seem to be more receptive to grief. Or maybe the bark hasn’t hardened yet, and the soft, easily hurt trunk is still showing through.

IBroken heart’ve been going through a series of upheavals in my life recently, most of which I can’t talk about. One is a family situation and the people involved would be terribly hurt if I were to make the drama public. It’s a sadly inevitable predicament, with roots dating back to my childhood, and it grieves me deeply.

The other situation has weaker roots since it dates back only a couple of years, but still, it saddens me. I’d agreed to do the online promotion for an internet company in return for a percentage of the profits, and those hopes disappeared this weekend in a series of emails and a cloud of dust as some of the major players decamped, leaving me rootless. I hadn’t realized until it was over how much I needed feeling as if I were part of something, even if it was more hope than reality.

I’ve also lost a couple of friends who have moved beyond me, either into committed relationships or . . . whatever. I still am not sure what is going on with one friend.

When my mate died, I played endless games of computer solitaire. It was a mindless way of passing the time, and I find myself doing that again. Just game after game after game.

Restless. Sad. Lost. Expanding that poor shattered tree bark heart.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

4 Responses to “My Tree Bark Heart”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    What a sad but beautiful metaphor. Thank you Pat.

  2. Holly Bonville Says:

    Well, I’m still here if that helps. 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel Says:

    I played endless games of Solitaire to pass the time, too, during those months of grief. Last night I dreamed about my son. I lost him 48 days after my husband died. I woke up and wept for a long time, My husband comforted me. Still, grief is grief. It comes and goes. He still weeps over the loss of his wife, also. Blessings to you, Pat…

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