I probably would not have noticed my heart if it had not been for Death. After all, how many of us walk around with a heart full of shards?

It’s simply a part of life, and life is not fair. If you were the one living on the unfair side, you’d know very well that sooner or later you just had to give in.

What else was there to do anyway? Not much could be done about bad luck.

No, I would not do anything about my poor heart I thought, I had a life to live. Sorting my heart out was not as essential as sorting out my life.

Little did I know that my heart was my life.

I was a child when my heart was first broken.

My most precious possession, made out of the finest love, was taken and broken into tiny pieces. Pieces that could not be seen nor touched. Pieces that almost did not exist in real life despite feeling them every living minute of my life.

They did not mean to break my heart; they had broken hearts themselves and so they did not realise what they were doing.

I understood that over time, no matter what their intentions were, the damage was done.

I was left with a heart full of shards.

Shards no one ever dealt with, no one ever touched or asked about.

How I longed for someone to come to me and offer me a gentle smile, take me by the hand and say ‘child we have to take those shards out. Otherwise, they will get infected and poison your gentle heart. Child, come to me and I will take that shrapnel out.’ How I longed and waited all my life for someone to come and help me with that heart of mine.

Yet no one came, no one smiled, no one took me by the hand and so as the years passed those shards got embedded into the flesh of my physical heart.

I changed a little with that heart of mine. My joy got crushed, my smile turned to a grin, my head bent down and my heart shut off.

I changed my dreams a little too, they were not as daring as they used to be. My dreams were not as important to me.

Instead, I concentrated on my misfortunes and looked into the past.

I learned to live with a wounded heart. I learned to adapt to the life that such a heart brings.

From time to time I would bandage those wounds of my heart yet the shards cut through and the blood leaked out. The puss would leak and smell no matter how much I tried. No matter how much I cried.

I learned to live with such a heart yet I never stopped hoping that perhaps one day someone would notice me and say ‘child come to me, we have to take those shards out. They are infected and are poisoning your heart.’

‘Child, come to me I know how to take those shards out.’

‘Child, do not be scared, just trust me. I have the right kind of love. Love that can heal hearts full of shards.’

How I longed and waited all my life for someone to come and look at that heart of mine.

Extract from We met at the crossroads, Death, Jesus and I

by Maria Pelisek