The girl in the mirror looking back at me is wearing a Metallica t-shirt. I don't expect this and it catches me off guard for a moment.
You see, we're experiencing a bit of an identity crisis together - this mirror girl and I. I never know what I am going to see when our eyes meet.
Today, she is snuggled into one of Daniel's old t-shirts. I never really liked Metallica. I prefer what Daniel calls "happy, peace loving hippy music." But I sure did love it when Daniel sang to me. I always knew I could put on Astronomy and he wouldn't resist singing along.
I was always my true, best self when I was with Daniel. He was mine and I was his. Together we were amazing. Without him, I no longer feel like myself.
Now I am trying on these new roles. Brave, Stoic, Responsible, Together. But I know, I would not be these things if Daniel was here. In his arms, I would be able to be weak, sad, and broken. Then he would use his "radio announcer" voice in an overly dramatic report of my problems until I broke out laughing so hard that the tears changed magically to joy.
It occurs to me that Daniel will no longer be here to tell me how much he loves to see me in pigtails. He won't point out how cute it is that I insist on bare feet at all possible times. He won't beg me to say "worcester sauce" because the way I mispronounce it is just so adorable.
Like all of us, I am perceived differently by different people. To Daniel, I was this cute, funny, smart, amazing person. I can still wear pigtails and go barefoot but his Amy no longer exists. Because he is no longer here to have her reflected through his eyes.
We hear that grief gets better with time. That someday we can get back to ourselves. Yet this kind of loss cuts too deep to not change us. I don't think that the pain ever really lessens. Time just gives us a chance to forget what it felt like before we had the scars.
I love you Daniel.