Last night, B-man and I went to a party at Baby Sis and T's place with siblings, children and Dad.
We are all different now. Since Mom's death, seventeen months ago, we have been searching blindly for that elusive new normal.
Like every other family on earth, my siblings and I were assigned certain roles and attributes through our history together: The Smart One, The Pretty One, The Funny One, The Quiet One, The Talented One, The Artistic One, The Troubled One, The Loud One, The Perfect One, etc.
We all moved through different stages and probably wore each label at least once. But some labels stuck, even when they no longer fit, defining us and limiting our ability to be seen outside of that role.
After Mom died, we entered a 'free fall,' uncertain about the new structure of our family. Honestly, I welcome this because there is greater freedom for everyone to be who they are and to step outside of their traditional roles as they see fit.
I wish Mom could have been part of this process.
For others, however, the lack of structure, and the loss of closeness with Mom has been devastating. They are left with questions of identity within our family and beyond.
And my father, who always took a backseat to my mother's more dominant role, has been thrust into the forefront of parenting, which must feel overwhelming.
The good news is that we are together now more than before, and the desire for closeness is strong for all of us, even if the path to reaching that goal is unclear.
I trust we will ultimately find our new normal and come to terms with this dramatic change in our lives. The question is, how do we best support each other between now and then?
Many of you have experienced the loss of a parent and the resulting shift within your families. Any words of wisdom?
image from theloveinbetween.wordpress.com