A Normal Day

Sometimes, I long for a normal day.

I no longer have normal days. 

I no longer have what most people would consider to be a normal day. 

Today, I woke up, and went to my 2x per week physical therapy appointment for my arthritis and bone spurs in my neck, resulting from hours and weeks and months and years of sitting and typing furiously, this book that I just published about my dead husband. 

Then I had a meeting with the Marketing person (and an old friend from childhood) at Groton Wellness Center, to finalize details for my very first Book-Signing Event, taking place at their venue, in my small hometown of Groton Mass, next Thursday. We discussed making snack platters in rainbow shapes to go along with the book's title, and whether or not I should read a "sad" passage from the book, or a "darkly humorous" one. 

Now, I'm back home, writing my blog post in the widow blog, and then I will be writing up emails and proposals for possible speaking engagements and more book-signings, where I will go and talk to people about death, love, grief, and loss. As these events are happening, I will feel good and purposeful and even hopeful and filled with joy. After they are over and I am back home , alone in  my room at night, the deep sadness will come and the trauma will return and the panic and anxiety that sudden death and traumatic events bring will emerge  - and I will isolate and maybe overeat and under-sleep and exist with a constant migraine that will travel down to my toes and up to my earlobes. And I will miss my husband deeply, even though I know he is no longer my husband and even though I now have a loving and wonderfully caring boyfriend in my life and even though I am madly in love with this boyfriend, and even though, even though, even though ...... 

I love what I have managed to do with the horrific reality of living with the death of my person. I love that I have taken my pain and used it to try and help others, and to create community and friendship and bonding through all our universal losses. I love that I feel the most alive while talking about death - and that I feel my husband's presence closer to me, anytime I am using my life to love forward. 

Despite all of this, nothing will ever be normal or ordinary ever again. 

Even the most ordinary of things - eating a grilled-cheese sandwich, petting my kitties, carrying groceries into the house - have been forever laced by tremendous loss, and tremendous love. A normal, boring day where I lie around the house watching TV or doing nothing of importance, is altogether different now. It is altered. Even in the ordinary, my joints and muscles and skin and hair know that something has been changed forever, and so even the way I relax is different. It takes effort. Things that used to come naturally, like breathing in and out or taking a nap or writing a coherent paragraph - they have been touched by death, and they live in my soul forever. 

My new normal, is extremely abnormal, even on the most normal of ordinary days. 

I'm exhausted, inspired, hopeful, determined, and exhausted a second time around, from all of those things. 

Here's to all of the ones who no longer know of normal ..


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  • Jane Santa Hess
    commented 2018-07-30 13:50:23 -0700
    My normal days used to be good with the person I loved, even when they were uneventful. Now, the “fun” days are only tolerable when I realize they are without him or he won’t be home to greet me and ask how my day went. Now it’s just lonely.
  • Laren Tolbert
    commented 2018-07-27 16:00:23 -0700
    I am always having days where I feel somewhat comfortable with my current life and that unforgiving shadow drops over me and I am once again in that valley. I am ready for normal myself, but I don’t know when that will come.