In the past few years, I’ve had people say to me,
“It’s time to move on” from my trauma, from my grief, and from any attachment I still felt to my husband who was shot and killed in 2013.
To them, it seemed like an appropriate amount of time had passed for me to stop talking about what happened.
(To be honest, I think it had more to do with how uncomfortable *they* felt listening or reading about pain, than their actual concern about my wellbeing.)
I will never “move on” as though that chapter of my life never happened. I’ll never stop feeling the grief, even if it has dulled and dissolved into the background of my life.
I’ll never dismiss the love I felt for my husband.
Asking me to move on while knowing I am literally incapable of doing so is cruel.
But, I can move forward, because that’s entirely different.
Moving forward means becoming unstuck.
It means not allowing my pain to dictate how I live.
It means laughing despite the trauma that made me cry for months, years.
It means being excited about things in my life despite having felt empty and blank for so long.
I can have my memories.
I can struggle with the ways my grief still manifests itself in my life.
I can carry my love with me, tucked between the folds of my heart.
I can do all these things while being vivaciously alive.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
God doesn’t expect me to do only one or the other, so why should anyone else?
Our own prophet Muhammad (saw) loved Khadijah (ra) until the day he died. He mentioned her, he missed her, he honoured her relatives and cried at the sight of her necklace.
Was he not patient?
He was. He was the epitome of patience.
So let people have their hearts the way God created them – to be full of love, to feel the devastation of pain, to cry when they remember a beloved one who has passed.
To do so is so intimately human.
Patience is feeling and experiencing all of these things, and continuing to turn to God for guidance and relief.
Moving forward doesn’t hurt so much when you know God is with you.And if people ask you to stop feeling, then they’re asking you to stop being human.