As I passed their house gate, the heaviness in my heart amplified. I felt as if my heart was about to explode out of my body. I entered the house with my husband and congratulated the bride and groom and their parents and acted as normal as I could. The bride was my deceased daughter’s first friend that she had. They were friends before they were two years old. I greeted everyone, and I felt that some people who knew me looked at me with admiration for being strong enough to come, while others did not connect the dots.
I tried to avoid my friend, the bride’s mother, and mingle with others. I did not want anything to trigger a tear and upset my friend on their special day.
As the crowd grew, the anguish in my heart intensified and I felt dizzy. I felt that I needed to sit down for carrying too much of a load. As I sat on a chair facing the staircase that for many years, my daughter’s shoes along with my other children’s were placed there, since they had to take them off when they went to the second floor where they usually played. I sat with my weeping heart. I went through memory lane; my daughter would have turned 27 this April. My daughter’s footsteps have gone on these stairs so many times over the years of her childhood. I sat gazing at the steps and thinking of all my children and my deceased daughter in particular as this used to be like their second home when they were kids.
Two of my daughter’s friends were also there. We hugged. I wanted the hugs not to end. I felt that the feeling was mutual. Our eyes said it all as we looked at each other. I could see that they were withholding their tears while mine almost failed me. They recognized the void that surrounded me but were able to see her in me.
I am not sure if I am fair putting myself into such situations. On one hand, I feel that I want to share the joy of those I love, who stood by me in the darkest days of my life. On the other, I can fool the majority when they see me wearing my masque at these events to think that “ I am okay” and that I had healed, but I cannot fool myself and ignore the throbbing pain in my heart.
Randah R. Hamadeh,
Author of Summer Rays: Solace to Bereaved Parents