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WHAT'S "NORMAL"?

Lisa King

August 21, 2012

I remember the days when I felt “normal.”  

I would drag myself out of bed each morning, feeling so tired from being up with Noah several times a night. I would walk into the kitchen and see the boys’ school lunches on the bench. Aaron knew how tired and busy I would be in the mornings, so he helped out by making the boys lunches before he left for work.

I woke up tired every day, but knew how blessed we were to have Noah with us. So I was grateful for those long nights with him.

Tired was my “normal.”  But life was good.

As Noah got older I learned how important it was to look after myself.  When he was old enough to go to school, I joined a gym, and I loved meeting my girlfriends there every weekday morning to do a class together.  I have to admit that I turned into a gym junkie and I loved it.  I’m not sure whether I loved it more for the exercise or the time with friends.

Before Noah got home from school each day I made sure that I had done the majority of the housework, because I knew once he was home I would be spending the rest of the afternoon and evening caring for him and spending time with my other boys.

Noah needed his medications, to be tube fed, his physio-therapy, and to be showered all before we had dinner. Because as soon as dinner was over, we had to start on his night time routine of more medications and feeds and helping him empty his bowels and bladder.

For ten years I constantly watched the clock to see if Noah’s next medication was due or whether it was time for his feed.  My days were full of appointments with professionals who all helped us to give Noah the best life that we could. 

When Noah died our lives changed dramatically. 

And when Aaron died I felt like I lost more than my best friend and eternal companion. I lost myself.

I lost my “normal.”

Instead of watching the clock to know what’s next on Noah’s routine, I watch the clock, wishing for time to speed up, as the days and nights seem so long now.  I don’t feel tired anymore because I’ve been up half the night with Noah, but I feel more exhausted than I’ve ever felt in my life. 

Simple things are no longer second nature– like taking the boys to school.  Just this week I drove straight past Harri’s school with him in the car.  He looked at me like I was a crazy woman and yelled “Mum! Why didn’t you drop me off?” as I drove straight past, heading for the gym.

I hear the boys talking to me, but half the time I’m not listening. Jalen tells me that I just promised to take Kobe swimming at the pool because I nodded and said, “Yes,” without even realising what he was asking. 

A friend described grief to me like being in a fog.  Some days the fog is very thick and you can’t see your way through it.  Other days the fog starts to lift and you feel like you can see the sun a little bit.   But just as you are feeling like the fog may be lifting for a period of time, it comes back even thicker than it was before, often without any warning.

I hate that I’m unable to do things that I used to do before Noah and Aaron died without feeling overwhelmed.  I don’t have Noah to care for anymore, but have little energy to do anything other than what is necessary. 

I have a new “normal” and at times I feel pressured to get past this and move onto the next stage where the fog is lifting for good. 

I hear comments from people like, “you’ll get to a point when you feel like you are ready to move on.”

Move on?! From what!?   Missing and loving my son and husband? 

It’s hard when people don’t realise that the way I feel today is exactly how I felt on the day that Noah and Aaron died.  Ten months have passed since Noah died. Six months have passed since Aaron died.

But it doesn’t mean that it’s any easier.  

The shock has gone, but it’s not easier.  It actually gets harder as time goes on and reality sinks in. 

I have a new “normal.” And I’m learning to accept that it’s okay to feel like this right now. Right now I’m doing enough just getting out of bed every day.  It’s enough that I’m here for my boys.  It’s enough to just do the things that I need to do every day to run a household.   I’m looking forward to seeing more sun in the future, but I’m learning to accept that the fog will be around for a long time and that is okay. 


Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.