Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My "new normal" is now normal

Just days after Steve died, it was already clear to me that the life I had known was never going to be the same. While I was just embarking on this journey called widowhood, and I really had no clue what wild ride was ahead of me, knowing life would be very different was a sense I was sure about. Without a doubt, totally sure. I remember telling people that the kids and I would need to find our "new normal."

New normal meant moving forward as a single mom with three young kids. There was no choice but to move forward. Although there were many days when I wanted to stay in bed huddled under the covers as life went on around me, I knew that couldn't happen. It wouldn't happen. I had three amazing kids who depended on me and needed routine and normalcy. The irony ... we needed normalcy, yet nothing seemed normal.

Life seemed to go back to normal ... for other people, that is. For us, our world was turned upside down. Since I knew hiding under the covers wasn't going to be an option, I had to get up each morning and figure it out.

It was the four of us finding our way. And, we did. Throughout the past couple of years, we lived our new normal.

During the holidays, it hit me. Our "new normal" had become normal.

As Thanksgiving approached, it dawned on me that it would be our fifth Thanksgiving without Steve. Five ... That shocked me.

There have been five Christmases, five birthdays, five anniversaries.

Now at almost five full years into this new normal, I had another realization. One that I don't like. One that can still seem so surreal. I realized that I have gotten used to Steve being gone.

I hate that thought. But, it is reality.

I'm beginning this year on a really positive note. In a few months, I'll celebrate a big birthday and FINALLY close the book on my 30s. In July, we'll celebrate Steve's life ... not dwell on the sadness that he is gone as I did last summer. I have vowed to move forward and live a full life. There's a lot to be grateful for ... there's love, laughter and happiness in our new normal that'
s become normal.

So, the journey continues.

*Source: The Grief Toolbox; "A Different Kind of Parenting, Kota Press