Looking Forward

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On Instagram I recently explained my grief like a blanket. One that has gotten so comfortable that as it slips off I reach back for it. Because Joy means life is going on, and it is an acceptance that Fareed is never coming back.
I haven’t written lately because my mind is everywhere. I’m busy raising the most precious boys who deserve all of their mommies attention. William turned 2 and we had a small party to celebrate. One of my best friends got married and so many of the people I love were in the same town at once. Life is moving forward. I’m anxious to start a new normal yet feel paralyzed by dropping that blanket of grief. To close this chapter feels like I’m saying I’m done remembering. But I’m not, nor will I ever be. Fareed will always hold a special place in our hearts, will always be a topic of conversation, and always be the man who changed my life forever in 800 short but beautiful days.
I followed a fellow young widow on her journey in the last year as well. Her final post moved me. I could feel a milestone of closure in her words. And in a sweet way it whispered to me, “it’s time, it’s ok now.” It’s ok to live. It’s ok to not cry every day. It’s ok to find joy and chase after it relentlessly. It’s ok to turn all the pain into stepping stones. That from the ashes I will rise and live much more freely, with a deeper love, and a fierce hope. I will savor all of life’s moments- both bitter and sweet.
I planned to write to you all about what it was like to be a pregnant widow, or what birth alone looked like. I planned to write to you the pain that comes with attending a wedding as a 25 year old widow. I wanted to tell you to be thankful for your spouse, every dang minute. I wanted to tell you all that I lost the day I lost Fareed, because I lost much more than my husband. I wanted to tell you about the drama that occurred post loss, and how I kept myself together. I wanted to tell you how amazing it has been being off Facebook. Some day I may write specifically about the grief. The year that shattered and rebuilt me. Maybe someone will need the encouragement. But for now, I just want to tell you that it is ok to live again after tragedy. That the deepest lows make us so grateful for the truly important things in life. That it’s ok to look ahead. I feel God calling me to live life again. To bring you along the journey of hope. To close the door on despair and open the door for joy. I am a 25 year old widowed parent of two. His loss changed me. I will forever hold him in my heart, I know he will always be part of my story, always part of my blogs. But I am releasing the blanket of grief.
In 6 short days it will be a year since we lost Fareed. This month has nearly shattered me all over again. I’ve started saying “a year ago” when people ask when I lost him. And with it comes a sigh of relief but also tears. I survived a year. Had you told me a year ago I could live a day without him, I wouldn’t believe you. But life showed me otherwise. It makes me angry that he isn’t here sharing all of these moments with me. That he is missing our sons grow. But I am learning to accept his loss. I am learning to embrace the strength I have learned over the last year. I know he would want that. Sometimes I imagine him sitting with me drinking a beer on the porch singing…

“My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish
I hope you never look back but you never forget.”

I could never forget. The beautiful husband and father you were to us.
Fareed, I know you’re out there loving me and want the same things to.

So here is to hope, love, and chasing life.
To new normals, in honor of old dreams.

5/25/14

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