Am I Normal?

Believe me, no one wonders more than I if the things I’m feeling, the things I’m doing and the rate at which I am healing is “normal”.

I belong to a couple of bereavement support groups and a recurring theme is, “Am I crazy?  Is this the way it is supposed to be?”

Sometimes grieving parents wonder these things because of their own misgivings.

But often, we question our feelings and experience because of external pressure.

And that is unfortunate and unfair.

When a mom brings her new baby home from the hospital, people are quick to remind her that life “will never be the same”.

She is encouraged to seek advice and help from friends and family and given space and time to figure out this new way of being.  As the years pass, she might express frustration and concern over the challenges of going back to work, sleepless nights, feeding issues, potty training, and dozens of other, everyday struggles that result from welcoming this little person into the family.  And that is just the beginning. 

No one thinks it strange that the ADDITION of a child is a life-long adjustment.

So, why, why, why is it strange that the SUBTRACTION of a child would also require accommodation for the rest of a mother’s life?

My heart grew larger when Dominic was born and the space that is his cannot and will not be filled by anyone or anything else.

I am learning each day to work around this empty spot.  I am becoming stronger and better able to carry the weight of grief that I must bear.

I can do many of the things I used to do before the only place I could visit Dominic was at the cemetary.

But I have to do them differently.  I need more help.  It takes more time. And sometimes I find after I plan to go somewhere that I am just not able to go after all.

I will never “get over” burying my son.

There will always be another mountain to climb, another loss to mourn, another hurdle to clear in this grief journey.

Dominic is part of me.  That didn’t change when he went home to be with Jesus.

The absence of his presence is EVERYWHERE.

And just for the record–missing the child I love for the rest of my life is perfectly normal.

 

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

14 thoughts on “Am I Normal?”

  1. AMEN…Thank you for your blog. I wish I lived near you, wish I could sit and have coffee with you and discuss this awful turn of events in our lives. I do not have a group or anyone to talk to, but every morning I read what you have written and it speaks to me, I know these thoughts intimately. Thank you for sharing, I pray for you and Dominic and Matthew and I, and all of the others, living a life they didn’t choose. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We lost our 11 year old Grandson to suicide 9 months ago and I feel as though my heart will never mend….and I have yet to go to church without crying.
    For the sake of our other 11 grandchildren I am trying to get in the Christmas spirit, but I am failing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brenda, I don’t have grandchildren-only adult children so I may be speaking out of turn but I think it’s healthy for children of all ages to know that death is painful, that love lives on and that part of loving someone after they go to heaven is being sad that we can’t see them and talk to them anymore. I honestly believe that children are much more aware of what grownups think they are hiding then we give them credit for. So while you may want to be in the Christmas spirit-I think it’s just fine that you aren’t as bubbly as years past. That will be a more honest reflection of what they are probably feeling too and give the permission to express it. Praying for you dear Grandmama-it is a hard, hard journey. May the Lord give you strength for each day.

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  3. I love this absolutely.
    But… I wish you had said

    “…So, why, why, why is it strange that the SUBTRACTION of a child would also require accommodation for the rest of a PARENT’s life?”

    Children change not just a mother’s life forever. They change dad’s lives forever, too, both the addition and the loss…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James, I agree with you-child loss does affect both mothers and fathers. But early on in my blogging experience I was gently reminded by another bereaved parent that my journey was MY journey and not necessarily transferable to another parent’s experience. So I make it a habit to speak only from my own perspective now-which is as a mom. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. They are a valuable addition to the conversation!! May the Lord give you the strength you need for every day on this awful journey. Blessings, Melanie

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    1. My daughter and I were talking about how her married friends with children talk all the time about how hard it is to adjust to being a mom. That sparked these thoughts in my mind. It really will be something we have to make adjustments for our whole lives. I wish we didn’t 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes you are normal. And it is Normal to grieve for your lost child every day…and it never goes away. There may come a time where you do not actively grieve every minute, but the pain will always be there. That is Normal. You will learn how to live with the pain. That is normal too. My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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