What is a “normal” life anyway? I suppose it is the life before your spouse’s death as “normal” as life can be. My normal typical American married with two kids life transitioned into a nightmare in the blink of an eye when Kris was killed in a motorcycle accident. I hated the term “new normal” all I wanted was my old “normal” back. I was so deep in grief and felt our lives had moved to a dysfunctional miasma of grief. That by the ways is normal for grief.
A new normal is part of the acceptance part of the journey through grief. (Click here to read more on the “stages” of grief.) This is where you can begin to accept the death occurred, life is different and begin to see a future life.
I remember in the first year thinking maybe we will find that “new normal” people keep saying I need to find. I was attempting to survive and “faking it until I make it.” If this is my new normal it sucked to the core and I wanted no parts of it. I felt fake and numb – like a fraud.
About a year and a half into the aftermath, I remember thinking, well, OK, maybe this new “normal” is shaping up. Life is still crummy, lonely, and I cry often, daily but not constantly. I think we will survive and life is continuing on.
Through a decision to find my new normal and survive, I joined Griefshare and eventually became a Griefshare group facilitator. I was determined to find a new normal and attempt to live a “normal” life again, whatever that meant. That’s when I discovered there aren’t a lot of places for younger widows to go for resources or even talk about their grief.
After a couple of years of therapy and intense grief work, I was able to feel like I had discovered my new normal. It felt like very strange place to be, moving on from Kris’s death and thinking about what I wanted in my future. I felt glad and relieved to be moving on and working on figuring out who I was now and defining that new normal. I still dislike that description, “new normal.” I accept that it really is a new normal and the old life is gone.
I wish you all the best and take your time with your new normal. Never let anyone rush you. It is a process and takes time.
Check our resources page for additional support.
Peace, Love, & Blessings,
Teresa Bitner, PMP, M. Ed., PCC
Jeni and I would love for you to share your story - be it on flowers, plants or other funeral, memorial or just your special story. We would love to learn from you. SHARE YOUR STORY!