When I look in the mirror now, I see someone completely different than the person I was before I became a widow.
My hair is whiter and my face looks older. There is a sadness in my eyes that never completely leaves. There is also a softness to me. Grief has worn away my sharp edges.
But I also see a woman that I love. For the first time in my life, I love her. I see her imperfections and, instead of hating her for them, I love her more. I see a beautiful woman who has survived unspeakable horror. I see a woman who is worthy of love. I see a woman who has remained kind even when everything in her is in agony.
I see a woman who has lost so much. Life has not been easy. Instead of letting it make her hard and cruel, she’s chosen to be soft and loving. She’s a woman who never stops hoping. She never stops trying. She never gives up even when she desperately wants to.
I see a woman who is aging. A woman who has learned many hard lessons. But she’s wise and kind and funny and intelligent and sexy and alive. A woman who is choosing to love herself despite her mistakes and her shortcomings and her “flaws”.
When I look in the mirror, I love the woman I see because I nearly died to become her. I love her because we went to hell together and came back. I love her because she deserves it.
Sure, she’s getting older. Her tummy isn’t flat and she’s got stretch marks and there are wrinkles around her eyes. But she’s beautiful. Inside and out. I see a woman I love.