My seven year old daughter came up to me with tears streaming down her face. She held on to my legs affectionately and through her whimpering sobs asked me,
“Mamma, why is Papa not with us? Can we also go to heaven and be with him?”
That was the brutal reality of my little girl. Every time she saw another girl playing with her father, she would feel miserable. She was too young to understand what had really happened, but she knew that she would never get to see her father again. That is enough to tear apart any seven year old child.
My other daughter is just two years old, so this is way beyond her. But she’s like a little puppy. She just knows when something is not right and comes and hugs me, pulling me with her tiny little hands. And, they’re all I’ve got left since my husband passed away around one-and-a-half years ago.
The day it happened, I just sat down on the floor and didn’t get up. I didn’t cry, scream, sob, or say another word. They said I had gone into a shock and probably denial; that I didn’t understand fully as to what had happened. But that’s not true, because I did understand.
I understood that I had lost the love of my life, my soul mate and the human being that I adored the most. He was the most amazing father to our little girls and exactly the kind of lover that I needed him to be. I understood that I’d never lay my eyes on him again and that I could never feel that happiness of his touch again. I understood. I just didn’t know how to react.
So, I slipped into a world of my own where my own silence engulfed me and blocked everything else out. I went through every moment with him in my head over and over again while I performed his death rituals almost robotically. I didn’t care about the rituals. I just needed to accept that he’s gone. And, that I did.
But it’s not easy to let go of someone that you love dearly so easily. Friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and whoever else came up to me and told me that it’s all right. That this is a part of life and that I should ‘move on’. I lost my best half and my best friend, and you tell me to get it together and MOVE ON?
What these lovely well wishers of mine do not understand is that it’s not a simple process that gets over within a month’s time. It’s not a step-by-step process! He was an important part of my life and will always be. So, I will never move on from him. Instead, I chose to keep him as the same important part and move forward into a new normal life. You know why? Because it is very much possible to honour the past while embracing the present.
And, that is exactly what I’m doing.
I still grieve his loss, yes. My older daughter still struggles to live with the circumstances because she was so used to her father being around. She’s trying to accept the situation and she’ll eventually get there. It is very difficult to watch her go through this, but I do my best to comfort her by answering her questions or telling stories about him that might make her smile. That weaves itself into a new conversation and the sadness disappears from those beautiful black eyes.
This is what I think – we never choose our lives. I was not prepared to live without my husband. I didn’t have any degree that would term me an expert in dealing with loss and pain. But when I reached the saturation point, I sat back and finally took a long deep breath of relief. When the worst gets over, life happens on its own.
Of course, no amount of time or distance will give way for that ache and sense of loss to exit from me. I still miss the way his laugh sounded, the way his eyes twinkled at me, the way he took care of the girls; his excitement, his passion and everything about him – it was here to stay.
But that is that. I’m living a full and happy life with my children, hoping to piece it altogether and become a whole again. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m getting there with a little bit of self-help, the love that I see in my daughters’ eyes, the support of everyone that I know and of course, his presence that surrounds me. He never really left me.
originally written at http://akkarbakkar.com/