Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finding a New "Normal"

To the outsider looking in, our life looks normal. Days consist of Dan and I, our dog and cat, work, church, friends, youth group and family activities. It's really no different than our life, "pre-Aaron". I imagine that people wonder how things can be so difficult when life was good before and not much has changed... it all seems the all seems so normal. From the outside, that's how it appears

There aren't enough words to begin to describe how far from normal our life feels right now, in so many ways. Our plans for our future normal life were centered around cardiology appointments, sleep deprived nights (and days), fretting over Aaron's ability to gain weight and "produce" dirty diapers, figuring out life on a semi-one-income budget, doing life as a family of three, and of course, enjoying each tiny, yet momentous baby Aaron milestone. Much of it probably doesn't sound like fun to most, but we were looking to the future with great faith, anticipation and joy. Now that this "future" that we anticipated is here, it looks so very different than what we thought normal would be. 

A glimpse of our new normal is:

...knowing that anticipated milestones of smiles, rolling, crawling, walking, talking will instead be reminders of what we are missing and how long Aaron's been gone. 

...Dan and I asking each other the generic question "how are you doing today?" and having a mutual, unspoken understanding that it is only in reference to one are you coping today.  

...the look of panic on my face and coinciding pit in my stomach when asked by patients "so, do you have any children?".

...signing up for a grief support group.

...wanting to say hello to a neighbor, acquaintance or coworker only to have them avoid us because they don't know what to say...and learning to not be offended.

..."for better or worse"... truly understanding/learning how to love and respect one another not only when we are in the midst of happiness and smooth sailing through life, but through the times of unfathomable grief, pain, anger and sorrow.

...a home with our son's ashes on our mantel and an empty nursery upstairs. 

...days that feel so full of work, friends, family and church, yet at the same time, feel so empty.

...a few feelings of dread and despair accompanying the customary joy of the upcoming holidays.

...appreciating and cherishing the small things, each other and life more and realizing that time, people and life itself are fragile.

...sharing a more intimate relationship with our Father and embracing a much deeper understanding of His sacrifice for us.

Our new normal is not the normal we had planned, but, we have learned more than anything that our future is not ours to plan. We planned and prepared for every aspect of starting a family and raising a child before Aaron was ever conceived and where did that get us... to a place, a situation, a future we never dreamed of and certainly didn't plan for. So, we embrace this new normal as best as we can right now. We're learning and adapting as we go, picking each other up when we fall and remembering that God is somehow using all of this for His glory...whether or not we understand the "whys?" and "why nots?" that present themselves. God walked beside us through the greatest joy and greatest sorrow we have ever known in three very short, yet very long days. He has provided the strength, comfort, peace, understanding and love that we have needed and will continue to need in order to remain standing when we come out on the other side of this storm. And, during times when we have been presented with more than we can handle, He has graciously embraced us, lifted us up and carried us until we can regain our footing and find the strength to stand on our own once again. Now, as we venture on to find our new normal, God is right beside us...encouraging us when we are disheartened, picking us up when we fall, comforting us when we're broken and graciously and lovingly carrying us when we are too weak, weary and exhausted to take one more step alone. Our God is an amazing Father!


  1. your words are nothing short of amazing... what a beautiful post. i pray that God continually reminds you that He is right there and He loves your more than words will ever say. as blessed as you two were for those 3 days with sweet aaron, he was blessed that God chose you two as his parents. we love you so much and are praying for you.

  2. I wrote a post today that is so similar in many respects -- I found myself nodding throughout your post: how our lives look the same from the outside but they're nothing like what they were.

    You will find your way through this new normal, to learn to walk with such an important piece of yourself missing. We will both learn.


  3. I can also relate to your post. I always called the time period after Jake passed away finding my new normal too.

    Funny (or not actually so funny), I lost my new normal the moment Sawyer died. I hope to find it again and I hope that you do too. Take care.


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