Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My "New Normal"

I have been in an awful mood all day. All week really, and while I thought it was b/c it was the first Christmas since my mom passed away, I realized that wasn't really it. It's b/c the 29th marks 6 months since my mom died.
"my mom died" is still such a weird thing to say. doesn't feel real. yet, after 6 months it is slowly becoming the "new normal" that everyone told me to expect.
"Nothing will ever be the same, nothing will ever be normal ever again. You'll find a new normal."
I hated those people. Yet... 6 months later and here it is.
Normal or "new normal" doesn't mean what I thought they meant. I am not happy, I am not okay, I am sure as hell not over it.

Let me tell you a little bit about my new normal.
  • Crying. It has become perfectly normal to cry every single day for 6 months straight. 
  • I have come to realize that what I thought was anxiety and panic attacks was really just the tip of the iceberg. Anxiety levels of about a 6 have become my "new normal"
  •  It's now normal to feel like no one on the entire planet can possibly understand what has happened. 
  • Fear of phone calls and the inability to reach someone by phone for fear that it means something horrible has happened is totally normal. ( I think I finally understand why my mother in law always answers the phone with "what happened??")
  • Accepting that i'm totally helpless and cannot protect or save anyone or anything I love, normal. 
  • People looking at me with *that* look, the "that poor girl" look has become normal. 
  • People appologizing for saying the words "mom, mother, mommy" is also part of my new normal. 
This list could go on forever, and I'm not trying to worry anyone or get sympathy from anyone. I'm sure that eventually there will be another "new normal" for me. But people were right, eventually a new routine starts to develop and that's okay. It doesn't mean you don't love the person or miss them with all your heart, it means you have gotten some of their strength to help you through. You do what you have to do to survive. Grief comes in waves, some are bigger and stronger than others, but when you hit the crest of the biggest and scariest wave, you can see the miles of calm ocean behind it and know that you'll make it through.

For all of you who have lost someone close to you, I am so desperately sorry for your loss. I'd love it if you'd be willing to share a few words about them, or about your grief process in the comments or if you'd prefer, by email. No normal, new or otherwise, is doable without support.

1 comment:

  1. I lost my dad 12 years ago and it still hurts but the pain eases over time. Everyone has their own timeline for grief so don't let anyone tell you its time you got over it.

    Your mum would want you to be happy. It took me a long time to be able to enjoy myself without feeling guilty about it.

    When my dad died, my mom gave me a book called "Up Words for Down Days" which was really helpful.

    Also this poem was helpful too:

    I’m Free

    Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
    I’m following the path God has laid you see.
    I took His hand when I heard him call
    I turned my back and left it all.

    I could not stay another day
    To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
    Tasks left undone must stay that way
    I found that peace at the close of day.

    If my parting has left a void
    Then fill it with remembered joy.
    A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
    Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

    Be not burdened with times of sorrow
    I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
    My life’s been full, I savored much
    Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
    Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
    Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
    God wanted me now; He set me free.


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