Who am I? It’s strange how I haven’t really asked this question of myself in a couple years. Before Fareed, I was constantly searching for who I was and where I should be. Everything just clicked with him. He didn’t define me, but he helped me see the beauty I always had. We created a family. I was his wife. Together, I became a mother. The two things that make my heart sing. Our life was literally one of disbelief. We were constantly surprised by the happiness and blessing we both had found. I rejoiced in it. I thanked The Lord daily for what truly seemed like a life saving miracle. I keep reading that my life will be forever marked by that day, May 25th, 2014. The day I lost my husband, my best friend, my soulmate. In the blink of an eye I also became a single mother and widow at the age of 24, all while pregnant. Really- Who am I now? I definitely don’t feel like the same person I was a little over 2 months ago. It’s not just the grief, but the realization that I am very different. I see the world and people through a whole new lens. I see my future a lot hazier. Quite frankly, I probably see it more realistically. Nothing is promised to us, and in a second, our whole future can be robbed from under our feet. I am human. I am constantly being molded and transformed. This life of celebration I once knew so firmly now seems like a distant past. I catch myself saying I just replaced that a month ago, when it’s really been three. The last two months don’t register quite the same on my scale of time. I ponder the idea of “getting back up.” What does that even mean? I don’t think this aching whole in my heart will ever go away. There is an emptiness- in my heart, in this home, in our family. The idea of being a single mom quite frankly brings me to my knees. The saying “one day at a time” is all I can think of. I feel hope realizing that I have made it two months in that state of mind, “today”. You never realize how much you appreciate just the smallest things, until they are gone. The glow my son got as he ran to his father around 6pm every night, the soft kiss that grazes your neck as you clean the dishes, the idea of a companion who understands you completely. The silence in the car is even different- knowing his presence isn’t there. I catch myself wishing the days away, but towards what? This is our life. We don’t have dad to look forward to coming home to at 5pm. We don’t have family vacation around the corner. We don’t have an anniversary or date night scheduled. I can’t talk to my husband about how excited I am for something in the future for the boys. I can tell the people around me, but it’s not the same. They don’t get the same joy we did, they aren’t dad. This is life now. We didn’t choose it, but we have to choose to keep going. Many people tell me I need to be going to church every Sunday. Though I feel close with The Lord, I will not lie, the thought scares me. I am scared to walk into a crowded room where we will be those people. I sometimes catch myself dreaming of a far away place where no one knows our pain. I know how unhealthy it would be to run from the very people who care, but to face the question Who am I now? Seems even harder. I sometimes question if people are sick of hearing about it. The pain, the grief, the drama, the questions, the memories, the stories- all of it. Right now, it’s who I am. I wake up everyday with a smile on my face for our son. I plan play dates and activities to keep him busy and growing. But, behind it all, lies this state of emptiness. I want that joyous, carefree, thankful person back. I really do. I wish so badly that the tears would quit coming, but they don’t. What does it look like to get back up? I have no idea. I guess that’s a journey we will be on for awhile. I don’t know when or how I will ever know “who I am” again. But today, this is our reality, and I will trek on moment by moment as gracefully as possible. I will love this little boy with my whole heart and maybe his love will help mold the broken pieces back together again.
(A tiny glimpse inside my grieving heart. Thanks for the grace as I move forward in the best way I know how.)