The new normal

I’m not saying I’m in the new normal yet. They tell me I will be, but right now I’m in an in-between state of what was and what will be.

They say the memorial service will give me closure. I have to believe them, all the women who have walked this path before me. They tell me to take it one day at a time.

Frankly, facing the day is tough. I wake up and remember. If the cat didn’t cry for her breakfast I might stay in bed all day.

But I get up and feed her. I eat my own breakfast – a piece of toast or a bowl of oatmeal — more out of habit than hunger.

I clean his room, getting ready for the company that is coming. I replaced the half-century old mattress on his bed. The delivery men who took it out said no wonder it was so heavy, it was stuffed with feathers. I put up new curtains. It is no longer his room, but a guest room.

It’s cold outside, so I collect his sweaters and jackets and sweat pants and take them to the crisis ministry.

I shop for groceries and plan meals, for family and friends must be fed. When they offer to bring food I accept gratefully. I don’t feel like cooking. For lunch Friday I made a grilled cheese sandwich and threw half of it out. Those who know me know that I can eat no matter what, even if I am sick. Is this the new normal?

It hurts going past the nursing home where he died. It hurts going past Sonic, where he’d always take me up on it when I suggested, “Wanna go get a hot dog?” It hurts sitting alone in “our” church pew.

I’m assured it will get better. I am advised to  pray. I pray the first third of Anne Lamott’s prayer: “Help! Thanks! Wow!” I may get to the second part in time.

They tell me I am strong. I’ve never felt weaker. I can talk to people, even laugh, but when I’m alone I cry.

They tell me the memorial service will bring closure. That the pain and grief will fade in time. That I will remember only the good things we shared, and not the last, sad months of alternating hope and despair.

This, I assume, is the new normal.

I don’t want it. I want time to turn back and make things the way they used to be. But I know that can’t happen. The past is gone.

And I’m  waiting for my new normal to begin.










3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bob Evans
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 04:59:35

    Sandy, you are on a long journey. Your friends can tell you what theirs was like, but each journey is unique.Don’t try to put time limits or boundaries on your grief. Everyone follows a different path. Just know the you have friends along the way, with a shoulder to lean on…


  2. Kim Harrington
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 09:17:45

    Thanks for putting your feelings on paper. It helps you, I’m sure, but also helps others going through a loss and gives us perspective. I will keep you at the top of my prayers and visit real soon.


  3. CristineGzr
    Jan 15, 2016 @ 08:49:41

    Sandy, I remember walking into a doctor’s office looking for help with grief. I was 32 and just lost my husband after seven years of caregiving. I sat down and told the doctor that I figured we’d spend a week on each stage of grief and then I’m moving on… I was absolutely stunned as I waited for the doctor to stop laughing, tears were running down his face as I went through a variety of emotions. Poor guy, he apologized for a good ten minutes -eventually. I can’t think of a time in my life when I received more well-meant advice. I’ve lost parents, family and friends but nothing compares to a husband – it is unique and personal, the road traveled alone. But I did learn that for the most part the advice came from a place of love and that is the bit you hold on to –the love offered. Hugs.


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