Hatchet to the Heart
Nazish Noorani was shot in the heart last week, as she pushed her son in a stroller through the streets of Boonton, NJ. Her husband has been arrested and charged with murder.
Lisa Belkin reports that Nazish had left her husband more than once, telling her family he abused her, but she kept on coming back because of her children, and, her cousin suggests, because her Pakistani heritage emphasized the importance of maintaining her marriage at all costs.
It’s a tragic, awful story, and it reminded me, in some way, of the stories of people who stay in the religious community because they are afraid to declare their marriage a failure, or afraid of losing or hurting their children. Clearly, there are differences in these two scenarios, but there are also similarities. The sacrifice made by people who want to leave but choose to stay is not a bullet to the heart – it’s often like a hatchet to the heart, as they frequently must deny their very self, their values and beliefs, living a false and shallow life, day after day, year after year, for the sake of their children or marriage.
This is not to say I cavalierly advocate everybody who wants to leave the religious world, waltzing off. I understand how harsh the cost of that choice can be. But the cost of staying is also harsh. It is also a tragedy, even if its victims are never named in a newspaper.Printable Version