‘Functioning with a broken heart.’


The above poignant headline is borrowed from Mundy. Yesterday I listened to Jarlath Regan’s  interview with the Offaly artist. I’m a late starter to podcasts and it was my brother who opened up my ‘under-used’ iPhone features to me. When you are busy out on a yard or doing long distances – podcasts are now my ‘go-to’ for company and to get that intellectual fix. 

And back to Mundy and that line that resonated with me. To put it into context, he was discussing his sudden arrival into a world of tour dates, media interviews, and one hotel room after the other. He really was open and honest when he shared an insight into literally  ‘keeping the show on the road’ whilst dealing with a broken heart – whether it comes from a family illness or a grieve that permeates your mindscape whilst maintaining that celebrity sparkle people expect. He never divulged what was the cause of his. But, he gave the listeners an insight into the human behind the mic and burst the what we often imagine as a glamorous ‘care-free’ celebrity bubble. Two diverse worlds can live parallel to each other and ironically in a type of harmony. Sure, most of us can relate to that, just on a smaller life stage. 

And what has that got to do with rescuing and animal advocacy. I guess his interview reminded me of two things: my after school days sometimes spent sitting beside him in my father’s car, as I waited for him to finish work to get a lift home, and my life full of dreams and expectations that had nothing ever to do with animals. Whilst I listened to his interview, I fished my long term memory for my seventeen year old self’s shared conversations and who I showed to the world. Memory can be the biggest let-down at times. The more you try to remember, the less you seem to remember at that given time. I don’t think I shared this dream with any of my friends but I did have this thing about being famous: that it would sort out all of my life’s woes! How very innocent of me. 

When you rescue, have rescues, advocate for animals – you really do a superb job at functioning. The truth be told: the majority of us ‘walk with a limp’. And that is another borrowed phrase I will explain at another time. Our hearts ache: our hearts have broken many times, for the animals we rescue and who are completely broken, the animals we lost, and the ones we never ‘got out’ before it was too late. Yet, we function. We put on that ‘keeping the show on the road’ face – without the adoration of fans, the plush hotel rooms, and the pay-cheque. Yes, we function. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and one rescue at a time, we function. The alternative does not benefit animals or animal lovers whose ambition in life is solely to save as many as possible, to heal as many as possible,and to make a difference. The lateral being the ‘pay-cheque’. And what an amazing purposeful pay-cheque. 

A broken heart never fully mends: there is no miracle cast. But it can be soothed. It can function and function well. It’s important to remember that: a broken heart needs to be minded whilst ‘keeping the show on the road’. I have to say that some of my happiest and purest moments have being a frightened foal coming to me after being thrown from a van, or a extremely nervous dog licking my hand. My memory tends to remember these moments. And that makes sense, as we tend to remember what impacts us the most emotionally!

Today on my birthday I wish I could for one day gather the heroic broken hearted rescuers I know and launch them onto a big stage with their names in lights. Yes, they should be celebrated more. There are many heroes out there, great entertainers, talented artists, but today I want to remember the ones who wear my kind of ‘heart on their sleeves’.  More of these people should be household names because it’s what the world needs more of, I feel. To celebrate those who continually give to others, who change lives and who create lights in bleak tunnels. Animal rescuers don’t just rescue animals, but the very animals they rescue often bring families together or complete families – even create a family for a person on their own. Yes, functioning with a broken heart, is something to reward in itself. 

Some of the most inspiring, resilient, funny, and entertaining people I know happen to work in rescue or are part of ‘that world’ in some shape or form. Their stories can draw tears, smiles and laughter all at once. Now, who else could do that? 

Lots of love to you all x

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