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Last night Breck returned to the seminar for the first time since he had his heart attack in May. He didn’t lead the seminar, because his energy isn’t quite there yet, but he shared for almost an hour about his experiences over the past 2-1/2 months.

My experience of having Breck back in front of the group was two-fold: I felt pure joy that he was sitting in that room with us. It seemed so normal and natural that I could imagine for a moment that nothing had ever happened. And yet, it felt too good to be true and I was afraid to even blink — afraid that when I opened my eyes he’d be gone. I know that I will never again be able to take Breck’s presence for granted. The challenge for me is to be aware of the possibility of losing him without my heart going into a closed-off, protected mode.

When I mentioned this balancing act to my good friend, she pointed out that this is really what we want to do with everyone we love: Love with our whole hearts with full consciousness of the possibility of losing them. Just writing that made my chest hurt — my body really resists the knowledge of the loss that is inevitable in human relationships. Even though I have survived great loss (most notably my father), my nervous system tries to tell me I can’t survive it.

I am sure I will spend the rest of my life learning that, although it may hurt beyond belief, I will live through loss.  For today, I’m taking a deep breath and moving through my day with a heart that is a little less protected than it was yesterday.

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