When my wife passed away, it took me time to understand the world again. Most days, I would look in the mirror and I did not recognize the person staring back at me.
I will admit, during that time, I grew a beard out of a lack of sheer self-motivation.
One day, suddenly, the reflection staring back at me made sense.
Yes, that reflection now may not be quite as young or sexy as it once was, but what I saw in that mirror was a #beast that had a chance to write a new chapter to a story that seemed to be ending.
When I see pictures like this, I am reminded of how broken I once was, but I also see how beautiful I still see the world, even after losing everything.
For some, a beard is a phase or trendy look they wear to look cool but for me, it became a way to resurrect myself while avoiding my own insecurities.
It allows me a daily protective mask of hope, and love that I need to re-take on the world.
My name is AnGeL, and I am a survivor.