What Is ‘Normal’?

I wonder if I’m doing it right.  This whole grieving thing. I have never walked this path.  I am fortunate enough to still have my parents, my siblings and closest friends. Death has been foreign to me.  I’ve been to funerals.  Some were expected, others ambushed us.  Some came too close for comfort.  Like the passing of my half brother a few years ago at the age of 24.  I think that at the time, I was too busy being the big sister, supportive daughter, and dutiful step daughter to let everything sink in and by the time it did, my life had got in the way.  My father and ex-step mom did not take it well.  They were older parents when they had him and truth be told, left a lot to desired. My step mom had some issues she had to resolve within herself, one of them guilt, for not being there for her son and leaving him with my father to raise.  My father didn’t even raise me or my siblings.  He was never a touchy feely type of dad anyway, and he certainly wasn’t one then. He grieved for his son and was devastated as any other parent would be but I don’t think he ever moved on from the anger stage of grief.   BOY was he angry and to this day he is still angry and even more bitter.  I remember thinking ‘why is he being like this?  He still had other children..why was he being so aloof..so mean?!’  It took me having to go through my own grief to understand, to some small degree, his new and more sullen personality. My father, without trying, taught me I didn’t want to be like him as I began my own grief , world ripped apart, journey.

I read how it has been several years since someone’s child has passed and they are still grieving as it was the first day.  It takes all their might to get through each day and night.  They wonder if they even want to.  Then there are those that lean on God or some other spiritual life force and encourage the rest of us to smile and let God or S.O.S.L.F. take control of our lives and our pain.  They imply that if I close my eyes, I will see fields of daisy’s with a spiritual being holding his arms out to me smiling ear to ear.  I hear no sounds but I can hear it speak to me words of comfort.  Rather foolishly, there have also been those days where I wonder if by taking two extra Benedryl, it is just enough to do the trick (BTW, no I am not suicidal, though I wish I could be with my Joey).

There have been a few days that I wake up happy, with a renewed spirit.  That is how I felt the day after the 1st anniversary.  I almost felt a sense of relief when I woke up.  I was smiling and felt light on my feet.  I think it’s because the ‘pressure’ of the year of firsts had finally passed and we made it. Not entirely intact, but nonetheless, we made it. Then, that light on my feet feeling turned to shock.  I felt a sharpness of guilt!  I should not be this happy!  My life hadn’t changed from a year ago, but somehow, I wan’t as sad as I thought I should be! I am scared. What if, one day, I just stop thinking about him?!  What if I wake up one morning and suddenly realize that his passing hadn’t consumed me the previous day?  Did that mean I would soon forget the sound of his voice, the scent of his skin, the roar in his laugh?!  What do I do now?  What should I do?  Is this even in the stages of grief manual?  Someone, please tell me I’m normal and not going quietly insane.

In the serenity and solace of my room, I often wonder if I am a normal grieving parent.  I wonder what normal is.  Is there even supposed to be a normal.  The only thing I know for sure is…

My life will never be normal again



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and then there were 2. I am the mom to 3 beautiful adult children..2 are still physically with me....One is with us in spirit. Even though they are adults, they will always my babies. I hope you follow me on my journey. Though we are all different, we are all the same

10 thoughts on “What Is ‘Normal’?”

  1. Beautiful friend, I don’t think there is a “normal” way of grieving. Everyone deals with it in their own way. I have never lost a sibling, spouse, or child but I have lost some very important people to me. With each one my grief was different, not that one in particular was easier than the other, it was just different for different reasons, but with each of them, my heart broke in such a way that I thought I would not recover. It ached, it hurt in such a way that I could feel it ripping in my chest, a constant ache that would take my breath away. I found myself with my hand on my chest constantly trying to just ease the gnawing pain. Honestly, I don’t know that it has ever healed. It just carries scars and reminders of what it has lost. Grief is all consuming, and for me, it literally is a “one day at a time” process. I can’t imagine how you feel as a mom, and like I have told Alix, I wish I could take away your pain. For me, the ache is still there, but it isn’t as “all consuming” as it once was. Lots of love to you, and you are in my prayers always. Love, Deidra 💕


  2. My sweet friend,
    Normal is such a wierd word. This is your new “normal”. I’ve not lost a child so I’ll never tell you I understand because I DON’T. I can’t even begin to understand. What I DO understand is that word “grief”. There is no manual that decides the right way to grieve. I DO know that it hits in waves…no, tidal waves, then times of calm. My own analogy is that grief is a bucket inside of me. Each day’s memories and broken dreams drip…drip…drip until one day the bucket is so full it spills out.
    I DO know that the holidays and special days aren’t as bad as I anticipated they would be. It’s the daily things that are hard; feeling survivor’s guilt that I’m living a life Gary was denied; needing him to make decisions with me; seeing our 3 kids and knowing he’s not here to share the pride with me; trying to fix the damn sprinklers on my own (yes, I did sit in the dirt once and cry my heart out!) lol…
    I DO know that I’ve panicked bc he hasn’t crossed my mind in the course of the day. I DO catch myself intentionally going over memories in my mind so I can remember his laugh, dry sense of humor, and loving personality. All this said, you will NEVER forget your angel. He’s in your heart and always will be. God, along with family and friends, will help you continue to live your best life and your bucket may take longer to fill sometimes and that’s ok. In my opinion, grief is undefinable. In each heart it takes on its own path. Don’t beat yourself up or let others tell you how to grieve. This is YOUR journey, your new normal. You may never feel complete joy again ( how can you??? ), but it’s ok to be happy and smile and experience joy again. Love you. ❤️🙏


  3. My name is Cherie and I guess we could say we are on the same journey,even tho neither one wants to be on this ride.. I lost two sons. One at the age of 32 and one 38. My 38 yr old son died of cancer leaving me with 3 beautiful grandchildren. My 32 yr old son died 6 months before his brother in an accident. No, normal is never again the way it use to be. I have learned in the last 5 yrs that I will never get use to them being gone but I am learning to live with the void. My husband and I are blessed to have another son who is now married and a father himself. My heart aches still for my older sons like it was yesterday when they left but I look into my grands eyes and my youngest son and see my boys are still with me. God has used my family,especially my youngest grandbaby to keep me going on and to be able to share my story with them. I love talking about my sons it keeps them alive to me..it makes my heart full again.. You are in my prayers, alwaysamomof3sons


    1. I can’t even imagine your pain. One child dying is horrific enough. I always say ‘ I great nothing.. what else can I fear since my biggest fear already came into fruition’ . None of us is barred. I’m half way thru my next blog which talks about grandchildren. My son didn’t leave any children behind. It saddens me that I will never have a part of him. Love those babies!!!! Thank you for sharing your story…. We are different yet the same. All my love to you.. joeys momma


  4. Thank you from all of us who can’t put our feelings into words. I look forward to your Blog because it reassures me that I am not alone! What is Normal? that is a good question for most, but for us I agree it will never be normal (whatever that is) again


  5. I have just read three of your blogs and I feel as if you are taking everything I have in my head and putting it into words. I was robbed of my first born and only son on May 24, 2015 when he was just 16 years old. I was just 15 when I gave birth to Omar and he and I essentially grew up together. I spent over half of my life being his mom.
    Since two years have passed I’m expected to be all better. How can you heal from something when there is no cure? I read books, articles and blogs and so many reference a “new normal.” What the heck is that? There is nothing normal about losing your child.


    1. After my son passed the first thing I did was purchase every book possible out there that talked about grief and losing a child. There is nothing I could find that i can say spoke to my heart. There is one book by Dennis Apple. I believe the book is called the loss of my son…I have read that book a couple times. My best aches for you


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