Moving Forward Versus Moving On

Author: Linda Ambard

I've made choices to date, move, go to school, and try to be happy. People smile and smugly nod thinking I've moved on…but what these people do not recognize are those very words of moving on are an oxymoron. Moving on implies that I am past a certain point and it somehow minimizes the journey.

Linda Ambard in Philadelphia

I have chosen to take faltering steps forward. The band aids born of time and the realization forever is a long time to stand paralyzed in life has compelled me to take risks and try new things. I am opening my heart in a manner once so inconceivable and foreign that I would have died before considering the remote possibility of loving another man besides Phil. What choice is there?

Some people assume I should be content because I had the fairy tale with Phil…a love between two people not everyone experiences. Others think I should stop living somehow and wait to be reunited with Phil. Still others think for me to date or move on somehow disrespects the life I had with Phil. Then there are those who feel I should have dated and moved on yesterday. It isn't that easy.

I stand paralyzed in self-doubt and insecurity because I have changed in once an inconceivable notion. Small things like eating feta cheese and cooking seafood - things I would not have done with Phil because he hated the strong smells - are examples, I feel, of not moving on but moving forward on a new journey. Relationships are trickier. It is lonely, but that isn't the reason I have chosen to take some faltering steps in this area. I stumble onward because if I had died first, I would have wanted Phil to find happiness again. It is that simple.

I am a different girl since 27 April 2011 because I had to forge a humanity born of a strength I didn't know I carried and a soft heart born from my heart that shattered into a million shards. Those shards may have been stitched together, but my heart will never be the same. I am stronger than I ever thought. My heart beats true and full, but I will never be the same girl Phil loved and knew well. Moving forward will never negate what we shared, the life I lived, or the faith I carried. Moving forward will be steps born of a glimmer of hope that comes from knowing that this is what he would want for me and knowing that it would crush him to know I had quit living. Yes, he loved me that well and yes, I loved him that well. Even if I am blessed again to know this kind of love, I know in my heart it will not negate either Chapter 1 or Chapter 2.