If I hear that phrase one more time, I do believe I will jump out of my own skin. It is generally offered as a platitude from people who go home, have dinner and go to bed with their spouse. That is THEIR normal. They have conversations about their day. They share family news. They complain about our political positions and how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. They make a grocery list. They watch America Idol. They argue. They make love.
How in their wildest dreams can they offer the possibility of NORMAL to me? You do not have to experience the same thing that I have in order to offer compassion, but they cannot begin to know how I feel every moment of every day after losing you. My moments are unique to me and reflect the depth of our marriage and no one else can imagine how that is for me. I refuse to attempt to explain it as it almost feels to me like a violation of the promises I made to you and the intimate secrets that solidified us as US.
I have reached some strange emotional place as of late. Finally, it feels as if I have accepted the reality that you are not coming back. The silence in our house is no longer a surprise and any unanticipated sound startles me. I no longer have the habit of arranging two place settings on the table. I know that your car will not be in the garage so I just park in the middle. It is not a surprise now when I walk into your office and someone else is sitting at your desk. I pass by the peanut butter in the grocery store with no need to buy any because no one in our house will eat it. I am no longer shocked when I move my foot to your side of the bed where I once expected to feel you there. I watch the LSU games alone. I no longer rely on you to help me logic out the issues that are concerning me and to validate my choice of action.
So, I have finally figured out what they are referring to when they offer The New Normal. The New Normal, I have discovered, is the exact opposite of everything in our lives that used to be NORMAL. It is no longer normal to take for granted your companionship and that we will grow old together. How in the world am I expected to embrace this as my new life? I loved our life together. I loved the NORMAL that we created that was so unique to us. Every aspect of this New Normal is sad and disappointing. Every moment of The New Normal breaks my heart a little more as it underlines the reality that you are no longer by my side to hold my hand and my heart.
In spite of all of the chatter offered, life without you does not get better and I refuse to embrace the New Normal. If that is supposed to give me comfort, forget it because it does not, so please stop saying it to me.
I miss you.