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The author lost a beloved husband in her early 30s, needing to be strong, she sometimes wears a mask, giving in to her grief when music moves her.
Today while coming to office in a shared cab, I watched a co-paasenger woman through the cab’s side view mirror. She was sitting in the front seat beside the driver. She had her earphones plugged in.
Her face changed expressions every couple of minutes, probably with every passing song. She was looking outside the window and her fingers moved to the music. As I watched, her fingers drummed at her bag that she held in her lap, probably it was a dance number.
Then suddenly her fingers stopped moving, and her gaze glassed over, she looked lost and as I watched, tears flowed down her eyes. Silently, they flowed down her cheeks. She was not ashamed of her tears; there were others in the cab but she let her emotions flow. Her black eyes were pools of sorrow and pain and she let it show.
After a couple of minutes, she wiped her cheeks, as the playlist moved to the next song. She smiled, she was still playing with her memories I believe. Somewhere far away she was watching someone, spending time with someone who made her happy and yet she looked sad.
I wondered what was going through her mind, what pain did she have, from where did she have the strength to be vulnerable in front of others? People hide their tears, their pain because they are afraid of being judged. Where did she find the strength to be so strong to face the world while her pain clearly showed on her face?
She kept listening to music, and the expressions on her face kept changing. Then she suddenly looked up, took off her earphones, her stop had arrived. She thanked the driver and got down from the cab. She walked up to a building and stood in front of the glass door and looked up.
It seemed as though my reflection stared back at me. The hair was perfect, so was the dress, no sign of tears, no sign of pain, lips parted in a half smile ready to spread, the moment the guard opened the door.
You think I wear a mask? No, I don’t.
I set my face, but the strength on my face is not a mask. It is the truth, I let my pain show at times because I need that too. Fighting life is difficult, fighting life alone in a new city with a small baby, with the pain of losing my husband, my best friend lying heavy on my chest is hard; very hard.
During the to and fro journey I have allotted myself time to cry. The playlist is on shuffle if a song comes up that has memories associated with it, I cry. I let my tears fall. And then I am strong again, my face set in strength.
There are days when all the songs are new that never had any memory associated with him and I reach office without shedding a single tear. And my face is still set in courage, in strength.
I have accepted that pain is a part of my life right now, and I have decided to live with it. I have accepted this is life and what happened to me is life.
My husband, a young guy of 35 passing away in his sleep – is life. And I have accepted it, picked up the shattered pieces and moved ahead. I have chosen not to stand and cry, instead, I am fighting every day to give myself and my son a happy life.
And I will continue to do so until I am ready to fulfill my dreams again. Till then I will make ends meet, keep my head above water, breath, cry a little cry and fight a little more every day.
Life is being hard with me, life is being tough but I know all I need to do is prove myself tougher.
Image source: shutterstock
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