October 24, 2016

Surviving You. {A Poem for Endings}

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A photo posted by Edward Vilga (@edwardvilga) on

We’ve all had those relationships that we feel we’ve survived.

Few of us have escaped the experience of heartbreak in our lives—and many of us have had to find ways to rebuild our lives after a relationship burns out or burns down.

During my divorce, I got a phoenix tattooed on my wrist. I needed a visual reminder that I had survived many challenges and could survive many more. It helped me hold on, seeing that symbol, and when I struggle, it still helps. It’s just a way for me to never lose sight of the fact that I am stronger and more capable than I sometimes realize.

Recently, I was thinking about those experiences, and I wanted to put the experience of rising again and again from struggle into words. I wanted to find a way to communicate a little of what it feels like when we are faced with innumerable challenges, and yet manage to survive them all.

I hope that this gives courage to those currently struggling with broken hearts or the myriad monkey wrenches life throws at us.

I hope that it’s a reminder that we are more than capable of surviving whatever it is we’re facing. We may have to reach out for help, or simply buckle down and move forward, but we are capable of doing this.

So take heart.


I’m fighting all my demons, outrunning all my ghosts

Unpacking all the baggage that’s hurt me the most

Return to sender, just take it all back

My heart is too bruised for these attacks.

I cannot halt the thoughts that turn

I burn, I burn, to ash returned

Born from fire, rising still

I love and hate all that I feel.

To ash, to ash, a falling hush

I rise in flames, the fire rush

And then some days, I come apart

Crushed by endings and too scared to start

From ash I rise, to ash returned

You leave me here

To burn—

To disappear without a trace

You just erase

My face

My place

This time, our story

Before lovers found

You won’t bury me beneath this ground

I’ll speak my story

I’ll bear this sorrow

Broken now, but strong tomorrow

Built from my pain, made into steel

It hurts right now

But it will heal.

I’ll rise again.

I always do.

Surviving this.

Surviving you.



Author: Crystal Jackson

Image: Instagram @edwardvilga

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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