$4.3 billion dollars are spent on Valentine’s Day on flowers alone. Though it’s meant to be a day of celebration, some say it’s just the commercialization of love. While I always expect a card on Valentine’s Day from my husband, I often resent how much brands like Tiffany’s and Victoria’s Secret simplify love. The reality is that love is as complex as it is complicated. And today, we want to celebrate the messy parts of love—the ones that can’t be summed up in a Hallmark card, the not-so-great moments, the broken-hearted moments. No matter where you live, how old you are, or who you voted for, most of us have experienced heartbreak.
When I tried answering the question myself, What’s been my biggest heartbreak? I was surprised that my answer wasn’t immediately my “big breakup.” You know, the type of one that changes you and shapes you into the person you end up becoming—the ‘growing up’ break up.
But the answer that came to mind first, the one that’s brought the biggest heartbreak and true ache, that I’ve tried to mask and silence with just about everything, is my broken relationship with my mom. I long for the bond we used to once have, when falling asleep in her arms made me feel the safest. I yearn for her mothering, no matter how often I try to convince myself that I don’t need it. It would be simply nice to have her to call and cry to about the fact that I haven’t been able to produce a child in two years, another type of heartbreak. I want to tell her about my fears and my doubts. Some days, I think how wonderful it would be to just call and tell her about a good movie I watched. But more than anything, when Mother’s Day rolls around, it would be soothing to know exactly how to celebrate our relationship and my love for her.
That’s the funny thing about heartbreak; it goes far beyond romantic relationships and knights on white horses. Love isn’t always about grand romantic gestures, but instead, about the messy, complicated bits too. And broken hearts are worthy of being acknowledged and celebrated, too.