New Normal

When the shock wears off, you’re left with a life that doesn’t fit anymore.  It appears the same- but is not.  People think you’re the same, but you’re not.  It is even more painful to be back here, but have you missing Dan.  To leave behind the shock and physical symptoms of it- and just be here- but without you.  It’s the rawest it’s been yet.  Now I feel this is permanent- now I don’t feel even a mystical way to reach you as I did in those early days.  Now I am alone each night- and for the most part of each day.

They say you find a “new normal.”  I am starting to loathe this phrase.  I don’t even think I’m close to the new normal yet, but sometimes I get anxious even thinking about it.  I have no idea what it would look like.  With your one swim, my entire life as I imagined it since I was a little girl- has ended.  I am not a wife- I will not have more than one child- I have no husband.  S.- my widow friend- tells me it’s just survival mode.  I wonder if the rest of my life will feel like this- like just surviving.  Food doesn’t taste good, I can’t appreciate a sunny day in September or a good night’s sleep- even the sound of my daughter laughing is tinged with the bittersweetness.  This does not seem fair.

Today I thought of how we used to always squeeze each other’s hand when a group prayer time ended- maybe at church or maybe at the end of a marital counseling session.  We’d just give a quick squeeze right after or during the Amen.  What I loved about that was that I don’t know when it started or who started it- it was just something we did.  And I don’t think we ever, not even once- said anything about it.    But then there it would be- that little squeeze- just between you and I.

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