It’s been a long time since I last saw you, in fact it seems like an eternity. Still, I remember you. And I miss you, old me.
You had an air of realistic positivity. New things you approached with curiosity and delight. Even though I would say you were cautious, you also loved the thrill of skydiving or meeting new people. Your open and friendly nature was easy to be around and you generally enjoyed life.
You were not ‘old me*’ then, you were young and energetic. It’s just to me, it’s seem that you are no longer…
By no means were you completely naive but you had this childlike openness to new things. You even approached pregnancy with this openness, even though you weren’t considered ‘young’ anymore. The unexpected news of identical twins was met with a burst of laughter and delight.
Even though you had a sensitive nature all along and experienced deep emotions, you enjoyed life and took its experiences with glee. The picture I keep in my mind is you skipping along the path, pointing out the colors of the clouds in the evening sky and hugging trees.
I don’t do that anymore. Serious and many times overly anxious would be the words to describe the new normal me. Highly sensitive to noises and crowds, nowadays I prefer to stay at home over a night out. People around me probably don’t think of me as easy to be around.
The forest and its natural beauty still brings me absolute pleasure and joy, or should I say ‘again’ as it hasn’t for what seems years. Just yesterday I laid under the warm towels from the dryer, enjoying the smell and the comfort of the warmness. You did enjoy this and I just remembered as I was doing it. I had forgotten you, old me …
There seems to be many things that I have forgotten about you. First I was upset, really upset that you were no longer around. Screaming and shouting for you to return, for things to be like when you were me. After some time I realized that loss had stolen you from me. The only way to continue was to get to know the new normal me. Forced acceptance.
After some months or years I slowly forgot you. With that I noticed that (many) friends of the old me had also disappeared. The new me made new friends, mostly other new normal ones. And life moved on as much as I wished to turn back the clock.
The link between you, dear old me, and the new me is however never forgotten. It’s right here in my heart. The child we both dearly miss.
Maybe you would have never left, if the child was still with us.
The New Normal Me
*NOTE REGARDING THE USE OF ‘OLD ME’:
The term ‘old’ is not to mean old by age, but the person before the loss.
This article was first published November 2, 2016 in Still Standing Magazine.