When your child has died, you may be introduced to the concept of the “new normal.” This is the place where you are expected to reside after your loss. It’s meant to be a place where life will go on, but it will go on differently. I am not against the concept of a new normal, but I do struggle with the term. Yes, this life after losing a child is NEW, but it is definitely NOT normal.
I did not always struggle against the “new normal.” When I first lost Dorothy, I was immediately drawn to it, but not because it was new. I was drawn to it because it promised that normality would return to my life that had become so foreign and broken.
Well, it pains me to say that normality never came. It never came because this life of living without your child is not normal. To have your child die and leave this world is not typical. To be a parent who has to love a child that they will never again see on this Earth, that is not normal and it doesn’t have to feel that way. No one should expect you to become accustomed to the way you feel. Just because you have become better equipped at carrying your heartache, does not change the fact that it feels so unnaturally heavy in your arms.
I know what it’s like to be the mother of two children who will only get to watch one grow and change. This is the life I experience every day, but it will never feel normal. I will never stop searching for the one who’s not there. I will never shake the feeling that I’m missing something. It’s a very abnormal way to have to live your life when you know it will never be complete.
It’s not normal to live this way and it’s okay to admit that. It’s okay that you will never get over the fact that your baby was here and now they’re not. It’s okay that you miss them every single day and that you will never stop wanting to hear their name. It’s okay that none of this feels normal. To be completely honest, I don’t want to live in a world where losing your child is typical. It should always feel abnormal for a mother or father to walk a world that their child’s feet will never again touch upon.
So, go ahead and embrace your new “normal.” Wrap yourself in the realization that your child’s death has made its mark on you and it has changed you forever. Life will never again be normal, but know that you are never alone in feeling that way.