I certainly spend too much time on social media during this pandemic. It’s my way of staying connected to the outside world. The other day I saw a post by Tori Press – @revelatori, an artist, on Instagram. It was broken down into 4 frames. Each frame had a drawing of the artist alongside a heart that had a face and the words “normal life.”
The caption is as follows:
Tori: I miss you.
Normal life: I miss you too.
Tori: I didn’t even get to say goodbye.
Normal life: Nobody knew I would disappear.
Tori: I wish I had appreciated you more.
Normal life: So it goes.
Normal life: But I’ll be back.
Tori: Will you?
Normal life: I’ll never be quite the same. But, I’ll return. I promise.
The artist’s words struck a chord. First, I remember trying to recall in those early years what a normal day felt like after my son died. I could remember what I did but could not access how I felt. But I did know after my son died, it felt much different now and my days were far from normal.
Then I began to realize how my days now, 6 ½ years later, do feel normal, maybe not normal during this pandemic but not far from normal either. There is a saying in the grief world that eventually you’ll have a new normal. I really disliked those words early in my grief because I thought, “How could my life ever be normal since my son died?”
I’m still not sure I like using a “new normal” and yet there is a sense of normalcy to my days. So the last line in Tori’s post has some truth to it. Some type of normal has returned but not the same, not even close. In reality, our days may be very far from those normal days when our loved one was alive.
The other thing that captured my attention in this post is never getting to say goodbye to our normal life and more importantly, many of us never getting to say goodbye to our loved ones who have died suddenly. And I imagine we did appreciate our loved ones while alive and also have a desire to appreciate and love them more if we had only known.
What do these words by Tori Press evoke in you?