I have spent years being a private person. This death, this change, this occurrence, has changed me so much. There are days I don't even recognize who I am. In the beginning, when everything was fresh and new and raw, I kept on hearing the phrase, "new normal." Because we have to change we have to create a new way of being. This is a lot bigger than it alludes to. It could be hard creating this New Normal. I don't let my children linger on the way things used to be done. Why? Because it's traditional? I want my family to do things that make sense for who we are now. If something needs to change then it needs to change. I have been accused of not being sufficiently sentimental. I disagree. I think that I am sufficiently sentimental but I don't let my sentimentality get in the way of a rational plan... most of the time.
People have asked me if I intended on doing something to honor the death of my husband. That's the question: Do I celebrate my husband's death-a-versary? So morbid!!! My father's death day has just passed and I remembered it but I didn't say anything about it to my children. On my mother's death day, I got married to change the meaning of the day. My son's birthday is the day before my husband's death. I want to celebrate my son's day. I want to celebrate my son's birth. I don't want it to always be associated with the death of his father. So... going forward, I don't think I will celebrate Santi's death day. I will let the day go on as if it is any other. I will remember and reflect in my heart the passing of my husband. I will try to absorb the sorrow of the day and I will talk about it with my children, but only if they bring it up.
But... how do we honor those who have gone before us? My parent's tombstones are in New York. We do not go visit every year on their birthdays as I used to do with my father. Whenever I went as a child I would end up talking to my mother, as if she would be able to hear me. I used to tell her things sitting on the cold dirt looking at a headstone ala Forest Gump talking to Jenny at the end of the movie. These conversations may not be beneficial. My parents are not waiting in their coffins for me to come to talk to them. This idea, this construct is only in my head. Why talk to the dead? James was cremated. I have his urn in the house. At times I find myself referring to the urn as "him." That urn is not him. In the urn is his remains. I am not ready to allow the ashes to find their own way in the world as he would have wanted. I find that I need that urn yet. I find that my children may need that urn. I'm not opposed to them sitting with the urn having a conversation as I used to have but I need for them to understand that the urn is not a person. The essence of the urn is not their father. Their father is in a better place. I would rather have my children do, as I did, when I realized what I was doing. I would like them to talk to a Father who can hear them. I would like for them to pour out their hearts to their Heavenly Father who longs to have a relationship with His people. I think this is a much better strategy.
I still ask: how do we honor those who have gone before us? I'm thinking of getting a huge tattoo on my back of my husband's face... Just Kidding!!! I am thinking of writing a note and putting it into a helium balloon to send to him. He won't get it. The balloon will fall back to the earth and it will be trampled or destroyed. This act in the new normal is for me. It will be for my children. I want to make sure they understand it is commemorative act.
As for my new normal, we are all liquid and changing. I will continue to do what we need to do and what we like to do as we change. God is good to us.