It’s been 6 months and I am beginning to understand my new normal. It is normal for me to cry at the strangest things. Walking down the frozen food aisle at the grocery store, hot pockets and pizza rolls get me every time.Seeing a guy walking around in shorts in the middle of winter. Hearing some hip hop song I used to wish I would never hear again. I hate our new normal. I hate that Molly is missing her Bubba so much. I hate that my family will never be whole again. I hate that Madison is going to only get the brother that tormented her, they will never get the chance to be friends as adults. In the months before Drew died I could see that their relationship was starting to change and evolve.
Part of my new normal is that mind wanders. It wanders to the past and remembering all the things I can about Drew. I worry I will forget, I will forget the way his laugh sounded, I will forget how is eyes twinkled when he smiled. I won’t forget the essence of Drew just the little things as life goes on. Molly won’t remember him at all and Madison may not remember much but that too is the new normal for us.
I try to hard to think positive. I work hard on not letting the darkness creep in, I worry that once I let it in it won’t go away. I will be consumed with it and will have nowhere to go but within. I do not want that. I want to feel as if my life without Drew still has purpose, still has meaning. For the last almost 21 years I have been Drew’s Mom, what am I without that. I know I am still Madison’s Mom and Molly’s Mom, I am still Randall’s wife, Maxine’s daughter. What am I to this big world. I feel pushed to be Drew’s legacy keeper, to be the person that keeps his name on people’s lips. I feel driven for strangers to know my wonderful son and to know what light the world lost when he died. These feelings of overwhelming inadequacy is my new normal. I don’t think I did enough when Drew was alive and I am trying to make up for it now that he is gone. Oh I know I was a good mom, at least as good as I could have been. I know that Drew knew I loved him but I still didn’t quite hit my mark on other area’s.
The normalcy of life that I once took for granted is like a faded dream. The being free to laugh without feeling guilty that you are here and he is not. My new normal is being afraid that you will lose another child. Wondering if once a tragedy has touched you that it left a light in its wake so that it can find your family once more. The new normal is not being able to enjoy the happy times quite as much because you feel the cloak of despair around you. I want to get to the point that some of these things are not normal, I will be able to think of Drew with just love and awe that he was mine. I want to not feel the black hole in my heart as if part of it was ripped out of my chest. I have heard this can happen. I have heard that after the loss of child you can find laughter, light and happiness. Don’t get me wrong I am not a complete mess all the time, it’s kind of like when your foot falls asleep and takes a long time to wake up. I can always feel the tingling of Drew not being here.
I do know that I am working on these things. That I would like to find a happy medium for our normal. I will always feel the loss of Drew. I just need to find some normalcy in this path of grief and learning to live with the loss.