What Is My New Normal?
It's been almost 15 months since Heather ended her life. I function in the day to day world, but still, the pain from her decision still radiates from my heart. This week, we started going through Heather's books. She loved to read. While I switched to my Kindle for my reading, Heather truly loved the books themselves. In turn, we have a lot of books - many are even duplicates! There are certain authors that she really loved. Amy chose the books she wanted and Carol still has to go through the stacks (it's not that easy when we live in NJ and she lives down in FL).
I went to grab the sympathy cards that we received after her loss. I told myself 15 months was enough time and it was time to see what was said when she passed away. I looked through all her books and I survived that. I must have held that stack of cards in my hands for about 20 minutes. I couldn't open one of them. The tears were coming and I really don't like crying in front of my grandson. Carter gets so upset when I cry about Aunt Yaya (her name for her).
Since I wasn't having any success opening the cards, I started going through the papers from the funeral home. Some of the papers were ours - flyers we printed to ask people to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention instead of sending flowers. Well, I found this tiny envelope and I had no clue what was in it. Inside were the little cards from the funeral home where people did send some flowers. That was it.
I must have sat on the floor for about a half hour just openly sobbing in pain. Carter, who usually yells at Gammy to stop crying, wrapped his arms around me and just held on. He didn't say a word (and at 4 years old - that is pretty unusual). Needless to say, I packed up the flower cards also. I wasn't ready to see them either. The pain is still too raw.
After I was able to stop the tears and give Carter some well-deserved hugs and kisses, I sat down and made a decision. Not really made a decision, more like finalized a decision. While I started entering giveaways and sharing the links to increase readership to the site and to Heather's story, I didn't have enough time to do all that I wanted to do.
During the week, I watch my grandson full-time while Amy is at work. I don't know what I would have done this past year or so without him. So, during the week, while I watch Carter, I will enter some giveaways and share them, I am going to start focusing on Heather's story. I shared what I have come to think of as my rough draft of her story. I shared the pain of her loss. Now, I need to spend some time and make sure I include hope. Hope is what keeps us going when things hit rock bottom. Hope keeps us going and we need to offer more hope.
I take many breaks from the computer during the day. Carter loves to play and he loves to get tickled. I love those moments. We laugh and play and it is nice to enjoy my time with him. I value that time with him. He doesn't like the tears that come out when I post. I may still post randomly during the week about suicide, but mostly, I will save the weekend for my writing. When Carter is off with his Mom and their friends. Quiet time, when I can let the tears out and get some relief.
So, what's my new normal? I still don't really know. I guess my new normal is talking about how we can work together to slow down the gates of Heaven with our loved ones. It's funny - I shared Heather's story and I still haven't read what I even wrote. It's been too painful. Yes, it still hurts, but this is something that I have to do. Sharing the pain wasn't enough. So, back to the drawing board and rewriting a book.
Every life that is saved, I think of as Heather saving that life. It's my way to keep her with me all the time. I've had a few people stop following me on social media because they "don't do giveaways". That's ok - their choice. Not a big deal. I will keep sharing the giveaways because the posts about suicide have increased viewership by about 50%. That's a big deal. It's all works together.
I know this post is a little long and I will start wrapping this up now. I will say that I finally got through the obituary I wrote for her. Most of it remained in tact, however, a few things were changed because I couldn't get the words out that I was looking for back then. My goal this year is to get the book re-written and published. To that end, let me get back to work. I wish you a weekend of joy and laughter. I wish you peace. I wish you hope!