What It’s Like to Almost Die of a Broken Heart

CW: suicide

Author’s Photo

In another lifetime, I had a husband.

A husband who had his demons. And I had mine.

He taught me so much. We succeeded in so much. And we failed at so much more.

I think we were too young. I think we were too damaged. I think that we were two broken people trying to fill in the cracks with each other. But maybe that’s just me finding ways to blame myself for what happened. We had an average marriage full of ups and downs. We were both military and stressed, with no family near for support.

Let’s change how we encourage each other.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

I was perusing Facebook the other day and stumbled upon a meme. I don’t know the exact wording, but it said something along the lines of:

The fact you worry about being a good mom means you’re a good mom!

I know the idea comes from a good place. I know it’s meant to encourage. I often worry I’m not doing a good enough job, that I’m failing. I know this is attempting to be reassuring.

But it’s complete garbage. It’s problematic. And I’ll tell you why.

You’re a good mom because you’re a good mom.

That’s it. Or, at least, that should be it. …

It also warns of mountain lions, with tips on how to prevent attacks.

The author walking part of the La Luz Trail.

The La Luz Trail in Albuquerque, NM was the first west coast hike that my fiancé, Tim, and I completed. It was also our first road trip as a couple. He confessed later that was when he knew I was the one.

“I knew I really liked you because I spent an entire week stuck in a car with you and still wanted to see you the next day.”

He’s a romantic, to say the least.

He’s also a meticulous planner.

Contrary to popular belief, I do plan out my trips. It’s just that the plan might be picking out…

This story falls under the microfiction category as it’s 97 words long. It has been submitted to a microfiction challenge that required a story of 100 words or less.

CW: domestic violence and pregnancy loss

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

His grip tightened around her neck. “You’re gonna trick me into loving you, then leave? Fuck you!”

Love, anger, violence. A cycle she couldn’t escape until violence ended the promise of life. Bright red blood stained her thighs.

“I’m leaving.”

She struggled for air. A memory flashed. Her, treading water, drowning. Her mother, eyes worried, fist against mouth. Her father, laughing. “She’ll either sink or…

Photo by Lisa from Pexels

More than one successful writer has prescribed short stories as a way to limber up and refine the writing process. Even if you gravitate toward stories that fall into the novel or epic categories, the short story is a great exercise.

Short story word counts

Short Story

A short story is a story that falls between 1,001–10,000 words. However, the average short story usually falls between 5,000–10,000.

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction are pieces that fall under 500 words.

Micro Stories

The micro story generally lands at 100 words or less.

When writing for practice or pleasure (or both!), word counts don’t generally matter much…

Photo by sl wong from Pexels

Social anxiety is expensive. I should know.

I should also point out that I didn’t realize I had social anxiety for an embarrassing amount of years…like, almost my whole life. I should have known because of how the idea of Black Friday shopping sends me into a panic and how rushed I feel at a drive-through line.

[Insert scene of my fiance asking me what I want in front of the drive-thru speaker. “What? A burger. Cheeseburger. Which kind? What do you mean? #2 I guess, I mean 3. No onions. Well, I can always pick it out. It’s fine…

CW: suicide

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

My children were 4 and 2-years-old when their father ended his life by suicide. With the pull of a trigger, the life that we knew was over. One decade later and we talk about him often; we have his pictures in their room; a flag, folded ceremoniously, in a triangle-shaped box that holds some of his medals.

Before he died, I might have assumed that grief eventually stopped. Perhaps there was a day that I thought mourning was a period of time. …

Photo by Polina Kovaleva from Pexels

I probably wouldn’t mind having social anxiety if it wasn’t so damn expensive.

If I could tally up the amount of money I’ve lost…I’d refuse to do it, because of the shame it would bring. This is ironic considering that I hate shopping.

So how is it expensive? Let me give you a classic example that happened somewhat recently.

I love office supplies. My favorite thing in the world is to buy planners that I’m not going to use. (Okay, listen. I plan to use them. I do use them. Sort of. I usually get halfway through the planner. Ok…

Content warning: suicide

The day my husband died was the longest day of my life. It was neverending. If purgatory is real, it exists within the day that your loved one dies. Life unfolded before me as before. Seconds turned into minutes turned into hours. And yet, it wouldn’t stop. The day wouldn’t turn to night. When night finally visited, it dragged on into infinity.

I woke up that day, tired, weary. The fight from the previous day still fresh in my mind. …

Picture of the author’s son on one of their hikes

CW: depression, suicide, self-harm

My son climbs mountains.

His favorite places are in a skate park or on the Appalachian Trail.

Within the last year, his body has hit hyperdrive and he towers over me. He loves watching his favorite YouTubers almost as much as he likes to retell the videos to me. His favorite class in school is “lunch.” His future goals include traveling the world. He’s the first to laugh at a joke and smiles easily.

My greatest fear is that one day I’ll find him like I found my husband.

He knows this.

Death, loss, mental health…

Gloria Miles, MBA

I write a lot about trauma and healing. Empathetic to a fault. Daydreamer. Always behind on laundry. She/her

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