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Graduation Day

by Maisha Rasheed

May 2018, I walked across the stage for completing my Master's program, something I've been looking forward to since the first day I started. I was suppose to graduate May of 2017 but after having Zahar, postponed until I felt "up for it." Although I wasn't ready, I went back to school only a few months later and, to my surprise, finished what was the most stressful, exhausting semester I've ever faced. In the months that followed, I was so excited to walk across the stage because although I endured so much I was still able to accomplish one of my goals. When the day came, I was filled with so much sadness, hurt and loss. At the time, my graduation was a reminder of what should have been. I should have had 2 of my children present to witness the end goal and hardships faced so I can provide a better life for them. It was another joyous occasion that filled me with grief. Grief that I tried to hide because everyone around me was full of pride and joy (with good reason) and I didn't want to be the rain on their parade. So I dug deep and found the best smile I could muster. It wasn't the best but it was all I had.

I didn't say anything or post because I knew some wouldn't understand. How can I not be happy after such a huge accomplishment? Graduation day for me was a big reminder that such a major part of me will not be physically present. A reminder that grief comes in waves. A reminder that it's still a lifetime of adjusting. In the end, I'm working through it and doing my best ☀️👼🏽🌈

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