Photo my own – on my facebook feed, from 7 years ago (21 June 2014)
Megan & Julia playing flute & oboe at our village Fete de la Musique concert
I have just read a HuffPost article about how differently the “Back to Normal” phrase can be received by people, depending on what you’ve been living, what you’ve experienced. The link is at the end of this piece. It has a purely US focus and is timely because of upcoming 4th July celebrations and festivities. The phrase raises such mixed responses because for hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, there is no “back to normal”.
There cannot be. Because “normal” has gone. For good. And it didn’t take a global pandemic for anyone who has experienced a devastating loss (be it death, illness, or other) to realise that.
There is something quite vomit-inducing about the “back to normal” (let’s just call it BtN) talk.
As though the past hasn’t just happened
As though people who have died don’t matter or can be forgotten
As though the effects of grief, loss, and upended lives are contained, time-bound
As though the past doesn’t affect the present and/or the future
As though we are still the person we were before the loss
As though…. Life just goes on
So yes – life just does go on. It trundles along. Hiccups here and there, smoother bits here, crevasses and ravines and steeps slopes and landslides over there…. In a way that is all life ever is.
I have so many wonderful experiences within the space of a week. Just this past week,
I have started not one but two brilliant learning programmes – one on Systemic Constellations and one on Human Systems Dynamics. Learning goes on. Professional life goes on. New connections go on. And for that I am so grateful. Where would I be without my work?
I have received our (our – not my – this was a joint effort for sure) eldest child’s wonderful university results and he will be off to start a Masters in Maastricht (has a lovely ring to it, I think)
Our middle child is just back – at long last, after 6 months away at uni – and it’s good to have her noise and clutter and clatter around the house
I’ve been out on a first long-ish bike ride on my new, posh, ultra-beautiful road bike
I’ve been celebrated and thanked for my work at La Maison de Tara this past year, and into the future
And alongside all of that, I have had multiple kind, generous, thoughtful, loving, consoling, heart-felt messages from people who know that this is the week, two years ago, that Julia died. And know that however my life looks from the outside, that I don’t forget that, or her, for an instant.
The rough with the smooth
The love with the loss
The glittering gold with the heavy tar
Life trundles on. And that’s okay