I hope someone breaks your heart all at once – Anna Spargo-Ryan

I hope someone breaks your heart all at once

I hope someone breaks your heart all at once

To my dear and beautiful daughters,

I hope that when someone breaks your heart (and they will), that they do it all at once. A bombshell. A bit of knowledge so exquisitely disarming that it shatters your heart to pieces in a singular moment and they are everywhere, and you have to go around to all the places they went and find the pieces and put them in a bag together. I hope that when your heart is broken it is an explosion, it is a catastrophe of emotion so profound you find yourself turned inside-out and upside-down and black and furious and tortured and dismembered.

I hope that when someone breaks your heart (they will, they will, not knowing you are the most important women in the world), they do it all at once and not systematically over ten years. Not piece by piece, pulling away your skin and then when your skin is all pulled away, taking apart your tendons and then when your tendons are all taken apart, tearing out your bones and then when your bones are all torn out, putting their fist into the space where your ribcage was and unstitching and unstitching and unstitching your heart.

I hope that when someone breaks your heart (fuck them) they do it all in a matter of seconds, standing in a field and telling you they’ve met someone else or they’re breaking off the engagement or they’re moving to China. Not minute after minute, standing in a kitchen and telling you you’ve got it wrong or that you ruined dinner again or that you’re imagining things or that you were a bitch to them at the supermarket and telling you these things until you — you — go back to them with your hands full of the porcelain pieces of your heart and you offer them up as an apology.

I hope that when someone breaks your heart (their unthinkable, terrible, reprehensible judgement) they drop it from a balloon or cast it into the ocean. Not hanging from a tree while the birds come and the possums come and the bats come and they all take a bit, barely noticeable, but they keep taking and taking it until half of it is gone and you didn’t realise. Not tied to a post with the wind beating against it until a hundred thousand hours of erosion wears it away but in each second the change is unnoticeable. Not a star in a galaxy that burns for several billion years until it becomes so tired without even seeing, just a little bit every day, just a minute, irrelevant, inconceivable bit.

I hope that when someone breaks your heart (those scoundrels, I will destroy them) it’s done in a flash, a spark, a ricochet, a shout, a nanosecond, a roar, a heartbeat.


  • Lisa

    July 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm Reply

    Well this is a profound truth, now isn’t it. Thank you.

  • Katelin

    July 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Crying. You ALWAYS do this to me.

  • Sanch @ Sanch Writes

    July 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm Reply

    Sort of like ripping off a bandaid…quick, painful, but not long lasting. Beautifully written as always :) I wish someone would write me beautiful letters like these!

  • alison

    July 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm Reply

    Well I just hope no one ever breaks their hearts, not ever. I hope they are loved and loved and loved for their true selves, and that they never know that pain.

  • Sara

    July 9, 2016 at 7:42 am Reply

    Anna, that is a gorgeous bit of writing, and I hope the same thing too, for my daughter. That’s how my heart was broken,and although it was singularly devastating, at least it was over and done with, and my soul if not my heart was still intact.

  • Liz

    July 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm Reply

    The heartbreaks can come from such unexpected places but they’re infinitely preferable to that slow erosion you so eloquently describe. Its so much harder to put your heart back together when it’s broken by a slow, hidden process.

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    July 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm Reply
  • Rowena

    December 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm Reply

    This just touched me soooo deeply … a piece to be remembered … thank you

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