A grief reviewed: Week 24 — The New normal

Establishing a new normal is so difficult and disruptive that entire families can be torn apart even if only one member of the family is experiencing the grief. Reaction outside the family can vary from empathy to outright hostility leading to equally disruptive actions. It is a time that many relapse to old addictions, develop new addictions or become hyper focused on something new they believe will relieve the pain of grief.This seems like a logical, even common sense approach to pain in our modern world that tells us to go after things that make us happy. The problem is that grief is not a response to a lack of happy. The new absence doesn’t necessarily mean less happy, in fact, if you think about divorce, the entire point of the divorce was almost certainly in a reaction to being unhappy. If you were unhappy in your marriage, the dissolution of it should bring you happiness, but as most of us know, even if we’re haven’t experienced it ourselves, divorce doesn’t breed happiness.You probably never even associated your leg or your hand with happiness, but you understand the difficulty in losing one. Receiving a new one might bring you happiness but it certainly won’t make things easier than when you had two hands. It may cause you physical pain getting used to using a prosthetic.While many things may be a stop gap measure in dealing with pain, the fear of a repetition of the event will often shadow your view and will undoubtedly color your future perception.Not everything a person turns to is bad or even destructive. Some turn to religion, hobbies or even work. A sudden shift in a family’s members focus can still cause ripples of disruption for everyone else, even friends. The same way a newly married couple becomes distant from still single friends, a newly grieved person can become distant from those in their circle who don’t understand the new situation or circumstances.New normal don’t wipe grief out either. Sometimes they can be as difficult as any obstacle in your road to recovery.If left out of activities that were once normal, a griever can feel abandoned. Many widows Express consternation at being left out of events they once attended with their spouse. I remember having an elders quorum bbq on the calendar. Families were invited, but once my husband passed away, there were no elders in my home and I was no longer invited. I was a member of the asl branch in my church and once my deaf husband was deceased I was moved out of the branch because, as they said, I no longer had a need for asl. Nevermind that I had used it daily in my home for years and that I had not been the one to decide that I didn’t “need asl” where all my deaf friends were.This makes the establishment of a new normal feel more like a shoe you are forced to wear that is two sizes too small.One day I asked one of the bishopric of my new hearing ward if he would come over so I could feed the missionaries, because they were not allowed to eat with single women alone. He said he wouldn’t be able to do it either because he was single. I started to cry because all of this just made the absence of my husband more profound.Finding people who can help you through your new path is often difficult because friends can become estranged as you grieve, not knowing what to do for you. Making new friends who understand your situation can be invaluable, but weeding through acquaintances to find one can be a challenge.That’s all I have for you this week. Visit my etsy store for some new Dia de los Muertos stuff (we will be at Muertosfest in San Antonio again this year) and we have a new ebay store up now too.