I’ve pondered this post for a long time. And as I finally sat to write it I quickly ran the math. With an average heartbeat of 60-100 bpm, 500 million heartbeats would be about 12 years old. It’s ironic as that number is very close to the age of the first person who I lost as a child.
I’ve always said that pain is like a watermark. The human body is resilient, and can take so much more than we expect. Until we experience loss and pain we don’t know what it feels like, and what seems like the end of the world for one, might well seem totally insignificant to another. Life is filled with such learning, and I myself think year after year how daft I was last year….
The heartbeat concept came to me as a lost child. I couldn’t make sense of the grief that I found myself in, and one fanciful idea I had to help was that a person is gifted with a finite number of heartbeats. It’s different from the number of days on the planet, because that is a quantitive vs qualitative approach. In other words, you could burn bright for a few years, and fade away early.
For reasons that escape me, I draw on it again now, when we come to terms with the passing of a ‘gig’ or deal I wonder, was there only so many heartbeats for it? Does making more people aware of it shut it down sooner? What if there was a cap of $500M that could be pushed through it, and one guy was plodding along with his $50K per month. He’d never reach the end of it, but if we maxed out the $500M, he loses his precious gig all too soon, and who does he blame?
Blame is a stage of grief. It comes in early. I would place it first in the ‘anger’ stage of the the Kubler-Ross 5 step model:
Blame is a tough stage. It will seek to hook into anything that it can, and we will make up a case to support it. And it comes back again when we blame ourselves in the phase of depression.
I went through this process hard, and for real growing up, and unfortunately more than once. For that reason I float in Acceptance for all things. Doing so doesn’t mean that it isn’t important, or that you don’t care about something. It just means that you have learned to flow with grief better. Perhaps the watermark left behind tracks that you can easily follow, and you know there is a path forward.
Knowing this doesn’t stop me with attempting to ‘bargain’ or change what I can, but I have no regrets if I cannot change them, as I know that is the way the world works.
If you haven’t moved through the steps before, there isn’t much guidance that can be given, all I will say from coming out the other side is that it is important to remember who you may harm and what damage you might do in the stages of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression. Once you reach Acceptance it is with yourself, and you need to look back to see what havoc you may have sown on your journey.