My Problem With Normal

In the first few days, there was a lot of talk about getting to a new “normal.” That is, a new “normal” without my father. Because regardless of how I felt, how I wanted to literally go back in time and fix everything, my life continued on and I had to go back to doing what I’ve done every other day in my life.

After six months, there is a “new normal” for me. It looks a lot like the old normal, with some added depression, less social interactions, and a lot more tears, a lot more emotions caught in my throat. But I still go to work, I still drive an hour home, I still spend time on the computer, and I still just go on.

But what no one told me about finding this new “normal” is that when it becomes normal, it starts to feel like it’s always been like this. That you forget how the patterns of a person fit in the first place. That you start to question whether that person was ever really there at all in your “normal” and not just a story.

Of course, he was there. My father shaped my life for 33 years, but what about all the years thereafter when he’s not here? How can things ever be “normal” if your normal is missing a pattern that helped shape you?

Six Months

I did not cry yesterday. The distractions afforded by play-off football, a Seahawks win, and binge-watching a new show on Netflix allowed me to have one day with no tears. It does not sound like an accomplishment, but it was a brief solace from what has been true every day for six months.

(I’ve already failed at having a day two.)

Half a year and sometimes it still feels like yesterday that he was here. Where’s he just slightly out of my reach, still only one phone call away. What’s worse, though, is when it feels like a lifetime, like it has been so long that I question whether he was really here at all.

It really makes you question time, grief. The past is your present and the future is something you avoid thinking about because how can you picture something with out him.

I don’t look forward to the next six months or the years thereafter. And I’m told it’ll get better … with time.

July 2016

Each day that passes
takes me further away.
Each sunset is a hundred miles
each sunrise, a thousand more.

And what destroys more than
each added mile, day after day
is the thought that I can still just
turn around, back to you.