A few months ago when I went to see my psychologist, I asked him a question: “When I will be normal again?” He slowly answered, “Your life will never be the same, you will develop your new normal.” I didn’t fully understand what he meant until recently. I didn’t even know my mood swings could be so dramatic. One minute I was laughing and feeling like life is so good, and then the next minute I was crying like a baby and didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t really like myself this way, but it seemed like I would stay that way for a while, maybe a long time.

Life After Loss || The New Normal

You may recall that I finally figured out my life purpose and I also came up with my plan to reach these humongous goals. Recently I finally started developing my public speaking material as a part of the plan. Boy, I didn’t realize going back through my whole life and looking at those memories could be so tough, especially those hard ones. I spent the entire day Mother’s Day working on my outlines for a PowerPoint. After it was all done, I was so drained and emotional. I could feel the mixed emotions in my chest and I could barely handle it, so I went for a walk. The birds were chirping and there were so many trees blossoming. The evening sunbeam was gently shining on my eyes and I noticed that I had a big smile on my face. But suddenly, the tears came too. I was trying very hard to hold them back until I reached a little wooded area. Then I just sat in the middle of the woods and cried and cried. The feelings of being unwanted, abandoned and unloved from my mom when I was young came back to me again, then the pain of losing my father and my husband.

Life After Loss || The New Normal

After a while, I wiped my tears and walked back home. There was something beeping in my house. It was a smoke alarm in my kitchen on the tall ceiling. Great, how am I gonna climb that high to change the battery? With beeping every 60 seconds, there was no way that I could just leave it alone. Fine!!! I went to the garage and located the heavy duty ladder that my late husband used to love very much. I was trying to pick it up. Nope, it felt like it weighed more than me. I stuck my right shoulder under it and just managed to drag it to my kitchen without damaging anything. Then another problem appeared. How do I open it? This fancy ladder looks so complicated and I tried every way that I could think about, but it just stood in the middle of my kitchen, not opening for me. This was my last straw. I sat on my floor and cried for about half an hour. If my man was here, I never would have needed to worry about those stupid things!!

Life After Loss || The New Normal

Indeed it was a very small and stupid thing to have a mental breakdown about. But that day, my emotions just took over and built up step by step until I couldn’t control it anymore. It was like a hurricane that just wiped off all my confidence that I had built since my man passed away. That day, I really tasted how powerful the native part of grief can be; the anger, the pain, the hopelessness and depression.

Life After Loss || The New Normal

After I calmed down, I asked my neighbor to show me how to open the ladder and of course it turned out to be super easy. I went to work in my yard for a few hours to relax after that, but that night I couldn’t sleep at all. The next day I worked in my yard for a few more hours again and finally I got some sleep that night. Then there were more sleepless nights. I am surprised that I am hitting my rock bottom this late, I thought I was already way past the most difficult times of grieving, but it seems like it just really started. I really don’t want to hold on to this loss for this long. I want to be free, be happy! I want to have a life without sudden tears and breakdowns, I want to have a life that I am not constantly sighing or fighting with my emotions. But I am not there, yet! I am working on it.

Life After Loss || The New Normal

So what is the new normal for me? It is keeping smiling, even through tears.

Life After Loss || The New Normal

You can read all the Life After Loss series here and Living with Cancer series here.

Life After Loss || The New Normal

Photo credit: Grace Liang/@life_of_a_goldenfeather

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  1. I hear you. Sometimes it’s harder further out because you get used to feeling happy again and so when the sadness or hurt comes you try to run away from it because you get sick of feeling that way- this is all my personal experience only… but yes- I needed this today. Holding you in my heart today.

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