One of the more significant aspects of grieving the loss of a loved one is how that loss establishes what has come to be called “the new normal” in the lives of those who are grieving.
I was calling home yesterday and accessed the number for the house through the “favorites” tab on my iPhone. There was my mother’s name and I thought of the many calls I made to her…and the fact that I hadn’t been back to the nursing home since Feb. 16 (her birthday, but for us it was the day we cleaned out her room).
Now, for many, this is usually a sad thought. Because we often like, or are at least comfortable with, our “normals,” such a change establishes a new normal and we often don’t like it. I must say, however, as I deleted her record from favorites tab and my contacts, that it was not that. It wasn’t sad. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a happy thing, but I have a confession to make…
…I’m actually enjoying the “new normal.” (Ssssh! Don’t tell anyone)! 🙂
Here’s what that little confession is NOT saying. It is not saying I don’t miss my mother (or my father for that matter). It is not saying that I haven’t been grieving that loss. It is not saying that I didn’t love her or that I saw caring for her as a great inconvenience. I am not saying any of those things. I don’t roll that way…
I AM saying that life is for the living and that “new normals” happen in this life because change itself is now a necessary part of God’s creation since mankind fell. Change is NOT an evil in itself. It can often be quite a good thing. Death, on the other hand, always brings change. It changes what you and I call “normal.” It nearly always establishes “new normals.”
It’s common for many who have experienced this same thing, a new normal that they are actually thankful for, to experience guilt over that fact. Guilt is a devilish tool. I especially feel this way about post-death guilt. If our loved ones truly did love us, would they want us wracked with guilt if our lives go on, maybe even better, after they are gone? And if our loved ones would want us wracked with that guilt, what in the world was wrong with them?
Life is God’s gift. The “new normal” renewed itself this morning with the sun rise. God’s “normal” for His people never changes. Dying to sin and rising to new life every day is a wonderful thing. Having our sins removed as far as the east is from the west from us (Psalm 103:12) is the Christian’s default setting.
Whether we are grieving or rejoicing, in life or in death, that normal doesn’t change.
And if the “normal” of how our days play out changes through the loss of a loved one or the addition of a new friend, it doesn’t need to be a bad thing.
Indeed, it can be a great blessing.
NORMAL! I’m LOVING it!
I hope and pray you are too!
In the love of Christ,