What is normal, anyways?

Yesterday was a very down day. As I wrote to a friend, I was looking for any words of encouragement that he could offer to someone whose son should have started his senior year of high school this week and should be looking forward to his 18th birthday in just three weeks.

As I was talking to another friend about all these feelings, he kept commenting that my way of describing how I felt was “totally normal.” I suppose that is supposed to be comforting (and it would be if I let it), but this is one area where I don’t want to be normal. There is nothing normal about what I am dealing with.

I guess, the real issue is that there is nothing natural about losing a child. It simply isn’t supposed to be this way. I am so surprised that there is still (almost nine months after his death) a part of me that simply can’t believe that Christopher has died; it almost surprises me every time that I hear the words. I’m told that this is normal. When I catch myself having fun and not thinking about the loss, I realize a fear that I will someday live like he was never here. I’m told that this is normal. As time passes, the whole memory of Christopher and I together almost feels surreal, as if it was just an illusion of some sort (although, I have to admit that there were a lot of people in on it!). This too, I’m told is normal.

I guess I am stuck on how my reaction to something so unnatural could ever be normal.