The New Normal

 Right now I am camped out in the valley, life isn’t okay right now, what I am journeying through is a journey consisting of miles, different states, maybe even countries. I am not going to arrive at any sort of all better place in the next week or so. Now, what does this mean?

It means that I have a hard time being in large groups, I feel small and without skin. What I have on my mind doesn’t always lend itself to an atmosphere of mirth. It means that a lot of times I would rather be home, in an environment that quite generally I know and can control. My entire life feels out of control but the walls, floors, furniture and fridge contents of my house I am generally pretty comfortable with. For now at least it means I don’t want to put on make up. It may have something to do with the fear of crying off all the mascara. Or perhaps it has to do with the fact that I don’t want to pretend to be at a spot of “all good” and for me eye shadow and eye liner flies in the face of how I feel.
This also means that I welcome the company of people who understand the space and time it takes to heal from a loss like this. I relish and savor a conversation about having Faith in the tough spots. I want to surround myself with people who understand that in things like this, God isn’t up in heaven teaching me a lesson. He is down on my level holding me and his heart is breaking in sync with mine. Small theology that consists of only rainbows and sunshine are not helpful right now, although I have a grace for all who try to help, comments can certainly be made that are harsh in their simplicity. So I am guarded with who I go to the deeper darker places with, but I am not bottling, I do go there with friends.
I also need to make myself aware that while I will move through this, I cannot go back to the way it was before. The way it was before is simply not an option anymore. I will keep living, keep savoring the moments, keep choosing to see the joy in my life. But I don’t have the luxury of being “before me” ever again. I only get to be “after me.” This is one of those events on the time line of my life that can be used as a reference point. There are things that happened before this, and things that happened after this. I am now living in the after. And I am okay with it. I could be angry, and demand that life go back to the way it was before. I certainly want that, but in 28 years of living within the boundaries of space and time I am painfully aware that I cannot. I cannot go back to the night my Mom died and talk her out of it. I cannot go back and change the events that led to this pain. I can simply heal, and keep living.
So thank you, for having grace for me, for giving me time to be in the valley. Such a loss merits valley time, and there is no prescribed limit on it. I see myself picking up my tent in stages and moving it out of the shadows slowly.