It’s been a grief goal for me to return back to “normal”. I have put into place fail-safes to reestablish pattern, predictability and self-protection. That’s normal self-preservation.
Now I am starting to feel more comfortable in my day-to-day. I have realized my new “normal” has also kept me from enjoying aspects of a “normal” life. Let me explain. I had nothing to do today. I literally had no plans except to write this blog. That is not normal. I went to bed early. I let myself sleep in. I took a long walk with my dog. I made coffee. Then I started to sit in the same chair I write my blog in every week and it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel it’s “normally normal”. That chair has comforted me each week as the widowed words transfer through me to the screen. This week I felt like the chair was holding me a bit too tight. I needed space so I made a decision that was not my normally normal – A pool day.
I packed up my computer, water and a towel. As I walked, I realized there was some anxiousness. I hadn’t taken a pool day on my own since Clayton had passed. A pool day meant I wasn’t accomplishing things. Guilt for taking time away from responsibility and serving others started to swell up. If I didn’t do “this” or “that” today than I was wasting my time. Guilt that I could have a pool day and Clayton couldn’t. I started too blame myself for sleeping in and un-normally taking a slow morning – Normal Guilt.
The next wave hit. I stopped walking to the pool for fear I’d be surrounded by couples and families. I’d be surrounded by what was taken from me – Normal Fear.
Wave three came in quick and I swelled with anger that I have to figure this all out without Tin. I started to ask the “normal whys”. Why him? Why me? Why is life not fair? – Normal Anger.
The next wave brought something I wasn’t expecting. In previously “normal” emotional storms, I would be done for the day. I would give in and the day would have gone back to being blanketed with “normal distractions”. Today was abnormal. I told myself that my feelings were valid but now they had to have their place and time. I deserved a pool day. In that very moment I felt something freeing – Normal growth.
So I kept with my plan and went to the pool. When I arrived, there was only one neighbor there and she knew I was working on my blog. She validated the quiet scene and my step towards growth. That wouldn’t have happened had I stopped moving forward. So as I sit here and write surrounded by a beautiful pool scene and the calming sounds of water falling, I realize I can acknowledge my widowed worries and my self-strengthening at the same time and neither negate the other. You can feel two things at the same time and that is normal…