Monday, July 10, 2006

The New Normal

The dust has settled somewhat.

We're sliding into "school's out for the summer" mode.

Our company is gone.

Our wounds are beginning the process of closing over, although it's a stretch to cover that huge gaping hole.

Yesterday I thought to myself,  Now we can get back to normal.

Then I thought- we'll never be "normal" again.

In a month we will face not just one, but three unbreachable chasms, and Life, as we knew it, will never be the same again.

I suppose that's the grief of the "empty nest".

When your birds take flight, you can only stand below and follow them with your gaze until the sun blinds you or they are hidden by a cloud or a tree.  From your vantage point on the ground, you might be able to see the crows circling, but you'll be too far away for your slingshot to be of any use. You might be able to hear them cry out, but your shouts of encouragement  may be too faint to be heard. 

The grief of the empty nest is the searing pain of loss. The gut wrenching of regret. The fluttering of hope.

You know they'll be alright. But you also know you won't be there when they fall down and get hurt. You won't be near to kiss it better. You know they don't even want you to, and they might not tell you when it hurts. They need to fly on their own. They'll be ruthless in their rejection of your protection to do it. They need to prove their independence before they can fly back on their own terms.

And the mother and father have to open their hearts and let their young fly away knowing they'll not look back.

And we'll look up and be blinded by the sun.

We'll keep watch through the blackest night.

Fumbling our way toward a new normal.


  1. The only way to survive this is to be blinded by the "SON"

  2. Your girls will be Ok. You will be OK - later anyway. But the transitions are hard. And it is all a kind of grieving and so there is pain. It seems as if all the past grievings resurface with each new one. I guess it is all just part of the process of living. But there sure are times when it sucks.

    I will call you for that bike ride. Then your physical pain the next day can mask the inside pain. Ain't I thoughtful? :)

  3. I agree, your girls will be ok because they have had (and continue to have) great parents. Ones who care enough to allow them to leave with dignity and grace. Ones who have instilled a hope deep inside that may not always be seen, but will be ever-present.

    I know, because I have experienced similar.

  4. Hillary will be fine.... I promise I will take care of her at the condo! :o)

  5. I know you will, Lauren. You don't know how much I appreciate it, and how glad I am that she can share your space.

    : )

    (You do know that she'll be getting more than her share of cinnamon buns and cookies this winter... with reminders to be generous...)

    : )

  6. Oooooh, that sounds DELICIOUS!!! :o) I'm looking forward to getting to know Hillary. And don't forget to come over for dinner when you're in Saskatoon! We have a very parent-friendly condo! :o)