The Shloshim period ended a few days ago. In Judaism, Shloshim is the period of thirty days of deep mourning following a death. As I unpinned the black ribbon from my chest for the last time, I looked at it, ran my fingers over it, held it against my heart and reflected on its visual meaning to me. It gave me a sense of honoring my beloved's memory, a tangible marker of who my family has lost. For a fleeting few moments, I wanted to continue to wear the ribbon indefinitely. Instead, I held it to my lips, memories flooding into my mind's eye and unbearable sadness racing through my heart. Then I quietly put it into a drawer for safekeeping.
Mentally, I will wear that ribbon forever.