Will things ever be normal again? Life hands us major detours, and some never return to the former path we accepted as normal. Every child that is born requires their own space in a family, and sometimes the siblings’ rebel, but none the less a new normal is created---ready or not! The same with every death, the vacuum created requires a new concession and a new normal. Time is the drawing board, and we become the architects, even when we object. I learned a helpful but simple interpretation of the law of change; when chaos comes, reorganization follows. An example would be when you plant a seed in the ground; the kernel is completely destroyed, but out of that chaos comes the opportunity for a seedling and then a beautiful flower. It takes a great deal of faith and courage to believe that the chaos we experience is the promise of new life.
I remember riding in the funeral procession following the hearse with the body of my best friend. I observed that some folks were pulling over and stopping their cars out of respect. I thought to myself, they stop for a moment, but my relationship with my friend will end forever. Grieving can pave the way to a healthy new normal, and there is no hurry. Perhaps the most crucial element is to be surrounded by people that have a positive view of life; to have individuals that will encourage you to look to the future while at the same time being listeners and comforters. Family members are not always the best because they’re going through their own grieving process. Having someone to commiserate with is important, but just as important are those that will support your new life vision and encourage you to open your heart to it. It is a brave new world, and a new normal is out there for those that pursue it. Journalist Anne Roiphe said it well, “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.”