From the heart of a bereaved Mother... This is now
Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family's life. Normal for me is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Birthdays Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine's Day, July 4th and Easter. Normal is feeling like you know how to act and are more comfortable with a funeral than a wedding or birthday party...yet feeling a stab of pain in your heart when you smell the flowers and see the casket. Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything. Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly. Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away. Normal is having the TV on the minute I walk into the house to have noise, because the silence is deafening. Normal is staring at every child who looks like he is my child's age. And then thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen. Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart. Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal". Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child's memory and his birthday and survive these days. And trying to find the balloon or flag that fit's the occasion. Happy Birthday? Not really. Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special my child loved. Thinking how he would love it, but how he is not here to enjoy it. Normal is having some people afraid to mention my child. Normal is making sure that others remember him. Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever. Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better. Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural. Normal is taking pills, and trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it. Normal is realizing I do cry everyday. Normal is disliking jokes about death or funerals, bodies being referred to as cadavers, when you know they were once someone's loved one. Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child. Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how you feel with chat buddies who have also lost a child. Normal is feeling a common bond with friends on the computer in England, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and all over the USA, but yet never having met any of them face to face. Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives. Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because..." I love God, I know that my child is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why healthy children were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother. Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did laundry or if there is any food. Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have three children or two, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my child is in heaven. And yet when you say you have two children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your child. Normal is avoiding McDonald's and Burger King playgrounds because of small, happy children that break your heart when you see them. Normal is asking God why he took your child's life instead of yours and asking if there even is a God. Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years. And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal".