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Grief is a Broken Rib

grief is a broken rib
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{I’m speaking from experience here…of both…}

You don’t just break a rib – it’s not like you turn the wrong way or get up out of the chair funny and **oops** you broke a rib. Something has to HAPPEN; you get in a fight, fall down a flight of stairs, get kicked by a horse…something powerful.

The wind is instantly knocked out of you, you’re dazed, you don’t quite remember who {or where} you are. You know you need help but you don’t know what to ask for. The doctor can only do so much. They can give you some meds to help try to ease the pain but other than that there’s not much that can be done.

Your chest aches, it’s heavy, getting out of bed is a chore, taking a shower is out of the question. Sitting hurts, laying down throbs, standing up is the worst pain imaginable. You try to take your mind off the pain and ‘do something with your life’ but you are easily distracted – if you can focus on anything at all. You sit and stare and just try to breathe {which, of course, hurts too}

You start to learn to live with the pain – avoiding certain situations, laughing, activities – until the mind-numbing pain begins to subside and you find your new normal. There are still things you don’t like to do, because of the pain – you do everything in your power to not sneeze – but doing so doesn’t fill your heart with dread any longer.

At some point, you start to realize that your excruciating pain is more of a dull ache now. The painful pain only rears its ugly head when it’s going to rain, or you roll over in your sleep, or you have the hiccups. There are even glimpses of you forgetting about your pain – but that reminder is never too far away.

Over {sometimes a VERY long period of} time you’re able to smile – and even laugh – about the time you “went ‘sledding’ in the Swiss Alps and broke, like, all your ribs and took the creepy ambulance van to the ER where the doctor didn’t even speak German {the national language} very well so you both just kinda pantomimed until he gave you the ‘good drugs'”

You will always remember the pain is there, and sometimes you’re reminded at the worst possible time or place…but it’s manageable {sometimes only with the help of those drugs}…and your tears of sorrow ever so slowly begin to become tears of joy…

…and your chest only hurts in the rain…


** If you like this story check out Confessions of a Griever: Turning a Hot Mess into an Haute Message {Laughable Lessons for When Life Just Sucks where you’ll find a version of this, plus 40 other stories about sitting in the suck that is grief until you are able to befriend and carry it with you.**

2 thoughts on “Grief is a Broken Rib

    • Ruben

    For what it’s worth. I just broke a floating rib by getting up from the bed. I was lying on my stomach and my floating rib snapped just because I lifted my chest.

    So yeah..

    • Hayley

    I absolutely loved this. I came across it though, because I was searching for information, because I just broke several ribs, and literally nothing happened to cause it to my knowledge! Haha This was so beautiful though. I needed this. Thank you!


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