My postings may be a bit too raw for the newly bereaved parent. Maybe I am a wee bit too honest about what it has been like for me living without my daughter. If someone searching for hope reads my blog, I wonder if they will be discouraged and come to the conclusion that there is no way to survive this unimaginable loss. However, based on what I am learning from grieving parents who are farther along, you can survive. Just the fact that those parents exist to share their own personal journey comforts me.
As I probably have said before, I remember desperately searching the internet those first few days for a way to survive! Didn’t anyone write a book with instructions how to do this? I am not kidding, I was earnestly searching for a way! Surely this pain will kill me! It seemed that my search engine results confirmed my worst fears. Put a fork in me, I am done! There is no hope! This pain will never ever go away and sadly life as I knew it is over and now I must enter the world of “new normal”. Incidentally, I have not met one grieving parent who liked those two words — new normal — ugh! Who coined that phrase anyway? Like my husband said, there is nothing normal about living without your child!
Who would embrace this new normal when the the old road was familiar, well traveled, filled most times with regular trials and tribulations. We recognized the scenery and spoke the language. Simple things such as opening a door that leads into a room that was once filled with so much life and joy did not have the potential to knock us out. A glimpse of sneakers did not take my breath away.
New normal. My old line was there was nothing wrong with my old normal. I remember sitting at the settlement table when we bought our first house and the sellers telling us that their 4 year old didn’t understand why they needed a new home bc their old home was not broken. My old life wasn’t broken but it is now!
I also remember when we sold that home. I was the last person to leave and I turned around to take one last look and instead of seeing an empty house, I saw the corner where we put our Christmas tree each and every year and my 3 darling children sitting around it wearing their blanket sleepers. Memories. It’s all we have now!
I have nothing profound to claim about this new horrible normal. It is a place where I cry numerous times a day, it’s lonely, dark, foggy, and everything is moving in slow motion.
There are familiar people, places and things but it’s a daily challenge to keep up. People still have expectations of me in this new place, most expectations seem unrealistic. There are very kind people who still visit and there are those that I wish there was an invisible electric fence to keep out because I am too tired to deal with what they are throwing at me.
There are those that venture into the new normal but it’s too difficult for them to stay in this foreign dimension for long. If I smile or laugh they are ready to proclaim that I am over it! Oh the view from their safe unshattered worlds can be so distorted.
There is a lot of anger, disappointment and pain in my posts but I have always remained open to healing. Complete healing is no longer a goal. That will not be available to me because Amy holds the key to that possibility and my heart knows that while I can embrace her in spirit, we are wired to need our children’s physical presence with us.
I always felt sick when I saw the word predeceased in an obituary. How horrible that must be to outlive your child? Then I moved on in my thought process to some normal thinking because that was just a sad word.
Now predeceased takes on a new meaning. Devastation Day made sure of that. Enter this new dimension where the lonely & courageous warriors exist. The land where no parent ever wants to enter and where we have vested interest on both sides of the veil.
This week I had a few moments where I felt a bit better. Maybe I should clarify and say there were periods of time when the pain wasn’t as intense. I can almost hear some people thoughts — shew! finally! Well, while I admit it was a relief to feel a bit better, don’t raise your expectations of me because I still am struggling and have moments when I don’t know how much more I can take?
My life has changed. But there is nothing normal about it. My journey is not one I would wish on anyone.