Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday's Therapy - Unpackaging the Princes' Top 10 TRUTHS about Child-Loss Grief - Truth #3) There's NOTHING "Normal" about "The New Normal"

Thursday's Therapy

Unpackaging the Princes' Top 10 TRUTHS about Child-Loss Grief:

Truth #3) There's NOTHING "Normal" about "The New Normal"

Truth #3: After child-loss, you will never be the same, and there is nothing "normal" about "The New Normal."

For us, somehow the term, "The New Normal," seems to cheapen this very grueling process of metamorphosis into which our we have been thrown by our child's death. Our lives have been turned upside down and inside out.

In some ways our basic personalities are the same; our basic characters are the same, but the impact of this huge loss assaulting our very beings feels tantamount to a body-soul-spirit-mind-heart earthquake, then a resulting tsunami accosting our lives.

Can you imagine someone walking up to a victim in Japan and saying,

"Welcome to your new normal!"???

Now throw in a dose of radiation on top of that! Those words are not helpful! Neither do they always seem helpful to us...

It's more than "The New Normal":

Tommy says,

"For me, it's almost like being born again. This (tragedy and all its impact) is not something I asked for or went looking for, desired, or put down on a sheet of goals for my life...something in the 'you can control your destiny' list. This tragedy was an external phenomenon that was dumped on me.

"Somehow we have to emerge from the wreckage and the sludge as a new and different person. We've been assaulted on so many levels. It is much more complicated, much more involved than 'A New Normal' suggests."

To be sure, there are some new Benefits found within Child-Loss Grief, some "Treasures in Darkness" as God describes in Scripture:

  • Clarity
  • We now know what is Important, and what is NOT important.
  • Our values change, many times from obsessing over material possessions to pouring our lives into more meaningful emotional and spiritual investments such as helping others.
  • Our views change. Formerly human traditions that held us captive are now redefined, such as how we spend our holidays as opposed to how the frenetic world may.
  • We have a great B.S. meter! We often can see right through pandering or other human charades to see the real truths underneath.

"The New Normal" just doesn't seem to cut it in describing what feels very "abnormal" to us...

When you have had your heart cut out, you feel a pain inside almost continually, your emotional stamina is not the same, your emotional resilience is not the same, your passions are not the same. Your views of "how the world works," and "how God works" are challenged. For many of us, our assumptive beliefs about such concepts are tested at the very least, if not totally blasted out of the waters and devastating our very foundations at the other extreme.

Some of us have to expend many, many energies to walk through and redo our assumptive beliefs about life, former assumptions such as:

"You can control your own destiny,"

"Prayer works,"

"Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,"

"Praying for the safety of your child works,"

"Church is where you go to hear about God" (You are going to hear too often a false version of "having the abundant life," for example. See yesterday's post for what we child-loss grievers may be more likely to hear in what we termed "Churchianity"...)

We become reminded that although Scripture holds some verses we like to "claim," our God is not a formulaic God. He ever sees the bigger picture and ever holds that before Himself while we see a tiny corner of the picture just from our finite, and therefore extremely limited, view. God is still God, no matter how much we thought we understood Him to be a certain way ~ He is always bigger, and He sees the whole while we see only a part.

In our experience, the term, "The New Normal" seems to be very much an understatement of the process through which we are going, and the kind and quality of life which we now are going to be living.

Tommy and I are still working on a better term that captures
  • such devastation,
  • such reworking required, and
  • such metamorphosis that has to occur to be able to go on with any kind of "normalcy" at all.

The helping fields such as the psychological, counseling, religious, and medical fields all seem extremely out of touch still to this day, about the compounding difficulties experienced within child-loss grief and the concurrent tolls such difficulties take on child-loss parents' lives. Their ignorance can, and often does, compound our unbearable circumstances to make them even worse and even more unbearable!

"The New Normal" just doesn't capture some of the depths of our agony we find in the process of our navigating our way through our grief journey.

For instance, if Tommy feels "betrayed by God," and someone throws out the quick and dirty,

"O, thats 'The New Normal,'

he might want to scream,

"NO, it's NOT! I cannot stay in this place and feel anywhere near 'normal.'

"I have to rework this, resort this out. It's like I have to be born again, not have a superficial label tagged with it just to accept the status quo. I must go through the process of being 'born again' which feels like we are starting all over with a completely different life than the one we once had when our child was here, and our family was intact!"

What about you?

What are your feelings about the concept of "The New Normal"?

Pictures: FotoSearch and Flickr


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