How I Learned That Life Will Not Destroy Me

For years, I believed I was incapable of navigating painful emotions

Katie Rodgers
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readAug 6, 2019


Photo: Evgeniya Matveeva/EyeEm/Getty Images

MyMy mom had a heart attack. I just typed the words ‘“heart” and “attack” as one word because I didn’t know it was two. I’ve never had to type it. The spell-checker underlined it with a thin red line so I put a space between the words and the red line disappeared.

A thin red line: I guess that’s some kind of metaphor for this situation, for life, and for tragedy. It’s an indication that something is wrong so you should focus your attention here and fix the problem. If only a heart were as easy to fix as a typo.

II drove to the hospital mostly at peace because the text I received said it was a cardiac event but not a heart attack. I arrived at the hospital and learned that the doctor ordered another echocardiogram because the first one wasn’t done correctly. We were waiting on the results when the doctor appeared and announced that it was, in fact, a heart attack.

If only a heart were as easy to fix as a typo.

It bothered me that he didn’t present the news with a speck of empathy; the utter lack of care in his tone made it sound like he was telling a joke. His answers to my questions were short. Clearly he was ready to get out of…