…and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted – and you yourself a sword will pierce – so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2: 34-35
|Pieta - Assisi, Italy|
|Pieta - Salzburg, Austria|
When I went to Mass this morning, I was reminded that it was the feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The full Gospel reading has more depth, but I automatically focused on verse 35. I focused on it because as Brandon grew sicker and after his death, I literally felt - and still feel - at times as if a sword had pierced my heart.
Many think that “heartbreak” or “broken heart” is a metaphor for the emotional pain one feels when a person one loves leaves or dies. But it is NOT a metaphor. It is quite physical. The weight one feels on the chest is real. The heart palpitations and chest pain are real. The shortness of breath and feelings of sheer terror are quite real. (And yes, I’ve had these “symptoms” checked out.)
There is a hole in my heart from the wound of a metaphorical sword, but metaphorical swords have physical consequences.