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What Is Normal Now?

 By Vicki Windham  
NORMAL is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery
for Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s day, and Easter.  
NORMAL is feeling like you know how to act and are more comfortable
with a funeral than a wedding or a birthday party. 
Yet, feeling a stab of pain in your heart when you smell the flowers,
see the casket, and all the crying people.  
NORMAL is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize
someone important is missing from ALL the important events in your family’s life.  
NORMAL is not sleeping very well because
a thousand “what ifs” go through your head constantly.  
NORMAL is having the TV on the minute you walk into the house
to have some “noise” because the silence is deafening.  
NORMAL is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday common event
and then gasping in horror at how awful it sounds. 
And yet realizing it has become a part of normal conversation.  
NORMAL is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory
and their birthdays and surviving those days. 
And trying to find a balloon or flag that fits the occasion, “Happy Birthday”?  Not really!  
NORMAL is a new friendship with another bereaved parent and meeting over coffee
and talking and crying together over your children,
and worrying together over the surviving children.  
NORMAL is being too tired to care if you paid your bills, cleaned the house,
did the laundry or if there is any food in the house.  
NORMAL is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have 2 or 3 children
because you will never see this person again, and is it worth explaining that one of them has passed away. 
And yet, when you say 2 children to avoid the problem,
you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your child.  
NORMAL is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel,
so that everyone around you will think you are “NORMAL”.