For those who grieve, the normal is something to be grieved. Everything that happens now happens within the shadow of loss. This is not to say that there is no light. Nor is it to say that all that happens is colored by darkness or sadness. In fact, this is not the case.
Much of what occurred, especially in the days immediately following the death or the loss, is either too foggy to be seen or understood clearly at this distance. All of it has the vague feel of sadness. But there are moments of joy, of laughter, of sweetness even in the midst of all this.
To say that everything happens within the shadow of loss is to say that there is now something between the light and our path. It does not obstruct or obscure the light so much as give it a new shape and color.
And because of this, there is no return to what used to be; as we walk, there is light and shadow everywhere on our path. We have resumed our work, but the typical tasks are different. They feel different even though the motions are the same. They are different; there is a long and wide shadow on our path.
We will soon grow accustomed to the shadow - and the variegated light and dark will become typical. And we may no longer see the shadow as distinctly. We may not be as attentive to the way in which it shades our path. At times, we will feel it - the coolness of it. But it may no longer be the focal point of our attention. And we may begin to forget what it used to be like without this shadow.
Today, this new normal feels like something new to be grieved. Just when one begins to feel like there is a new normal, it is the new normal which becomes something to grieve.
Whether it is the normal of the before, when this shadow was absent, or the normal of the now, when the shadow is present but no longer drawing one’s attention, the normal is something to be grieved.