I still recall the stillness and silent chill as we arrived home for the first time after losing our son. As we pulled up at our house, on our street, surrounded by familiar sights I was hit with a disconnection I had not yet anticipated. Nothing here had changed but everything had for me.
Things that were the same now felt different to me. From the smell of our house to the touch of my bed. There was a new foreign concept to everything that once felt safe or comforting. I craved for things to feel "normal" to feel "right" but soon realized I was on a journey of creating a new "normal" for me. I remember so clearly the almost fascination or curiosity I had with how different everywhere felt after Marshall's death. I could not decipher how such a change in life could impact the way I experienced my physical surroundings.
I remember feeling like I was living in a snow globe. Trapped in a beautiful winter scene where all the pieces where perfectly placed. Everything grounded except for me; the figurine that had broken free of the village scape and was floating around aimlessly. It was like someone kept shaking the globe; sending me turning and reaching for something steady to hold on to.
In the beginning, I reached for those closest to me for stability. There were moments I wish I could have stitched myself to my husband to make me feel safe and hold me down. Over the years, we would grieve in very different ways but in the early days our hearts needed to feel love just to stay alive. A love that relied on silent touch for healing when there were no words left to say. I realized that most "things" no longer brought me comfort aside from a handful of small, meaningful items that held memories of Marshall. I needed the ones I loved to hold me. The comfort that a loving touch brought was all that could keep me grounded in this snow globe. Sometimes a difficult request when my mind was isolating me and felt safer being alone.
I don’t remember when I moved out of the snow globe but the glass dome is no longer surrounding me. Some days I float above the scenery but not because my world is being turned upside down. I rise up and pause to reflect on where I am and where I have been. Most landscapes feel familiar again. As common comforts slowly weave their way back in, I think it is important to pause and look at the village around us. How do we operate in the world that we immerse ourselves in? How do we fit with and interact with our surrounding and those we hold dear? In life’s most challenging hours or in moments of our greatest joys who do we cling to? What landscape will we create to live out the dreams of our future?