Stained Glass Reminds us of the Broken Parts

I have just finished How I Met Your Mother this week and it’s been weighing on my mind – stained glass and broken parts. 

There’s a flawed logic in HIMYM. Not everyone’s story gets wrapped up so wholly. Sometimes we’re left with are questions and fragments of memories. 

I think that’s the thing about consuming TV shows and movies and novels – somewhere along the way, you start thinking life has perfect beginnings, ends, and middles. That everything always gets wrapped up in a tight little bow. Maybe I need a break from consuming for a while. A little detox. Detoxing the idea that things will have conclusions and give me closure. 

COVID should’ve helped with that idea. The way it swept into our lives quicker than we could have imagined it. It didn’t let us say goodbye one last time, revisit our favorite places and break them in. It’s taken me some time to realize that it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to say goodbye. We never know the last time we’ll see someone. We never know the last time we’ll be in a certain place. Sometimes we do. We sort of have markers for the more obvious seasons of life – elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. After that, we start making markers of our own.

Recent Post: Fighting for faith on a winding path

We make our own traditions to mark the passing of time. Friendsgiving, taking a random day to gift yourself flowers, blog anniversary or romantic ones, I feel like I sound a bit lovelorn. It’s a lovely word, but I think this grief that I’ve written about before, it’s not quite leaving me. It’s that Wandavision quote – “What is grief, if not love preserving?” I go through my days and every now and then, a wave of questions and memories come over me. 

I just feel like that grief should have an end date. Like step 1, grief comes. Step 2, you ignore it, realize it’s here to stay, and then acknowledge it. Step 3, you deal with it and it walks out of the door. When the episode rolls around, if it’s not some cliffhanger, the 30 or 45 minute arc should wrap itself up quite nicely. But maybe it’s silly to imagine an emotional portrayal of grief on screen doesn’t compare to the lived experience. 

It makes sense. 

But my brain is a little warped. My expectations and reality don’t align. And I’m not sure they ever did, I mean, how can you fathom loss when you’re young? There’s this naivete. That what we love we won’t lose. And that we can hold onto anything if we try hard enough. I think this post is just full of lies that I need to let go of. Growing up is about taking off the rose colored glasses and putting on the squeaky clean practical ones. 

But grieving is like when my glasses are off. I don’t have 20-20 vision so without my glasses, the world is blurred and I can’t navigate the world outside my home. In grief, I am confined to my well-worn paths and roaming outside of those boundaries is against my desire to keep the love alive.

Recent Post: Journaling Prompt Challenge Part II

There are plenty of people who I’ll never know where the story led them. My 8th grade best friend, my middle school crush, the hordes of people I knew in high school, and even now college. You meet SO many people in college – I literally met this dude named James who was double majoring in Engineering and I have literally never seen him again. I feel this type of loss acutely, The loss that leaves questions unanswered. 

Not having everything neatly wrapped up is tortuous. My insatiable curiosity is pricking holes in my heart, unaware of the gravity and the nature of the questions I want answers to. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that I want a goodbye. A period. Something to mark the end of a story. Maybe that just means I grew up in a world that valued the beauty of a story, even when there were painful parts in it. Perhaps I should’ve learned from the stories that didn’t clean up so nicely at the end.

There’s this story in The Opposite of Loneliness about this girl who suspects her boyfriend of cheating and we’re trying to figure out if he actually cheats, but it ends with this line “Inevitable, the magazines write, and we shake our heads with somber nostalgia for the grass and its crickets. We always will.” I highly recommend reading the story for yourself. But the point is – it haunts me. The ending has always haunted me. It always will. It’s uncertain air keeps me captivated, searching for a satisfying conclusion. Unfortunately for me, Marina Keegan has passed on.

Broken Parts by The Maine has always made me think of stained glass. There is an amalgamation of pieces of glass that collect to make something beautiful. And honestly, Citizen’s Life in Your Glass World, which is an absolute banger and you should totally listen to, reminds me of the same stained glass, especially with its title. 

Recent Post: Life Update of May 2021

At the risk of saying something cliche, stained glass takes all of the broken parts, the fragile glass, and puts it together in a way that draws awe. So I’m hoping life treats me the same – takes all the hurting part of me, the pieces that feel like if they’re touched they’ll break, puts it together in a way that draws people in. 

I think Edge of the World is the best song on Life in Your Glass World. I truly believe you can only judge if you listen. Lyrically, it just puts into words the way life’s been for me lately. 

I was looking for an answer

Took a chance, took a swing and I missed

Just need an ending, a nice little bow to this grief.

I’m drawing dead today

Feeling like I’m hollow

There was no more to explain

Exactly how it feels when it hits.

I was a symbol of hope

But I’ve been pushed a bit farther

And though I feel undone, I got more to offer

I’m a little battle weary. Life has worn me down. I’m not so naive. I don’t think that every relationship lasts forever. I thought that something was worth saving and they didn’t. I’m not so certain of what I thought I knew before. But that last line has been pulling me through. 

Although I feel undone, I got so much to offer

I may want to cut off any possible hurt. But that’ll cut out any possible love. I don’t think I’m quite ready to love so fully, but there’s so much love in me. I can only hope love finds its way to me again.

Signing off, 


Leave a Reply