Sunday, March 13, 2011

The new normal...

Dear Sara,

Has it really been a month since the funeral?! Some days seem so long, how can it have possibly been a month already?

My eyes have done a lot of “seeing” over the past month. I see things I never noticed before, maybe because I couldn’t. I see how much pain and suffering exists in our world. I’m so much more sensitive to all kinds of pain that I used to be blind to. There are so many hurting people out there.

Stevie seems to be adapting to you not being here. He doesn’t look for you as much anymore. He comes over and sits with me on the couch as soon as I pull the quilt up next to me.

I don’t cry as much as I did a few weeks ago. There are usually tears in my eyes, I can feel them there; they just don’t leak out. They sit there, on the edges, perpetually waiting to be called into action.

I find that grief can have time and situational dependencies. The parts of the day when we normally would have been apart go by faster. It’s probably part of the denial process, which can continue for a long time. This provides some emotional relief; but, as soon as I’m heading home, the fact that you’re not going to be there when I arrive settles in quickly.

The grief I feel during the time we normally would have spent together no longer feels like a unwelcome invader. Someone commented the other day that it would feel less “foreign” over time. This doesn’t make me feel any better about the way things are, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to either. Is it possible for grief to become something that just feels normal? I suppose maybe it can, at least for a season.

Today was both a really good day and a really hard day. I spent the day with friends. We went to Lansing and visited the Michigan Historical Museum. We went out for lunch. We went to Impression 5. We went to a high school musical. The busyness helped keep me from focusing on what we were doing four weeks ago, which was probably good. At the same time, so much of what we did was so family oriented, especially the visit to Impression 5, and it made me think of you and Miranda. Seeing all those happy families enjoying the museum, all its hands on activities, and each other’s company caused me to think about everything I’ll never get to experience with you. I suppose that’s going to happen a lot, isn’t it?

Just like Stevie, I’m getting used to you not being here. I still think about you all the time. I still hurt a lot. Your absence is still noticeable. But that’s all starting to feel normal; the new normal, where missing you is just a natural part of existing.

I love you. I miss you. Give Miranda a kiss from daddy.



  1. still thinking about you constantly! <3

  2. Chad, Just sitting on my couch with my dog curled up next to me, praying for you and stevie, may The Lord continue to help you each day, hope it is a small bit of comfort that others are alway's praying and wishing we could help.

  3. I read all your blogs tonight and I can't believe what you have been through. My friend Lora told me to read your blog because lately I have been down due to fertility issues my husband and I have been having. She told me to be thankful for what god has given me as you guys didn't get pregnant and then you lost your wife and child. My husband and I have been together for 10 yrs, have had 3 pregnancies and finally got to bring our son how almost 4 yrs ago. We so desperately want another child but haven't been blessed yet. I had a miscarriage in June 2002 at 6 wks, I went on to get pregnant again and lost our son at 5 months DEC 16th 2002. I got to hold him in my arms until I was released from the hospital. The funeral was very hard. Anyways. Nothing I have gone through compares to the loss and tragedy you have been through. I couldn't even imagine losing my husband and my child at the same time. Even though I lost my son long ago I have another, and I still have my husband. My heart goes out to you and your strength for god is very inspirational. When I lost my son in 2002 it took me almost 3 yrs to even find god in my heart again. I didn't know why I lost my son. Why did i have to have that Dr that night who did so many things wrong. Why why why. But we will never know the reasons for our losses. Only thing u can do is try and find a way to heal and live 1 day 1 min at a time until you learn how to feel "normal" again. My heart goes out to you and I know your wife and your daughter love you and watch you every day! I'm so sorry for your loss!

  4. Finding a 'normal' again, even if the new normal totally sucks, I know is a bit of a relief. I know that finding a state of normalcy was something I craved for a long just find a new routine that I could feel halfway comfortable in again.

    A word of warning, though. It's a one-step-forward-two-steps-back sort of thing. Setbacks will come. I know from experience. Try not to beat yourself up when they come like I did, OK?

  5. Oh Chad....The day to day things we sooo take for granted!! Your very unfortunate tragedy and posts have influenced a change in my daily life. I have learned from your tragedy to take the time to say the things to my hubby (and the special people in my life)that I want to in the moment. Don't wait. My heart aches for you and the lonliness and the dread you are feeling when you must go to your empty home. I so wish there was something I could do do take away your pain, sadness, tears, suffering....and
    Stevie too...He can't speak what he's feeling but you know!! I know ours is not to question why...but I can't help not asking that for you! Hang in there my friend. I know you are giving it your best effort. That's all you can do!! My prayers continue for you and I know your two Angels are sending you the strength that you need to "be". Many hugs to you Chad....

  6. You are touching so many lives with your story. Thanks for sharing, the new normal may not be what you thought your future held...but you are handling it with grace and strength. Hugs.

  7. A friend posted the link to your blog just after the accident. I started reading it at that point and my heart ached (and still aches) for you and your family.
    I really admire you for drawing closer to God in this incredibly difficult time. I am a Christian as well, but I don't know that I could handle something like this in the same way that you are.
    Just know that even strangers are thinking and praying for you.

  8. Dear Chad,
    Thank you for continuing to write. Thinking of you and praying for you always.


  9. Chad,
    My family lives and works in Guangzhou, China. We just want you to know that we pray for you regularly in our family devotions. God has kept you on our hearts. We are trusting that the all-sufficiency of God's amazing grace will continue to uphold you. "And underneath are the everlasting arm."


  10. Your blogs are amazing, you can tell you have two angels by your side. I'm sure it's hard and I think gods leading you through this difficult time. Praying for you always! (hugs)

  11. Continuing to pray for your daily!
    John Crupper

  12. Heard this song on the way to work and thought of you, Chad. Wanted to send this promise on to you. Am praying for you every day.
    Phil Wickham - Safe Lyrics
    To the one who's dreams are falling all apart
    And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
    I can tell by your eyes you think your on your own
    but you're not all alone

    Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
    Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
    With a love so strong he'll never let you go
    oh you're not alone

    You will be safe in His arms
    You will be safe in His arms
    'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
    This is the promise He made
    He will be with You always
    When everything is falling apart
    You will be safe in His arms

    Love you, Aunt Kay

  13. i too am familiar with new normals. :) not the same as yours, but it is usually an unwelcome phrase. some days we just plod through it. wondering if you are familiar with a writing of anabel gillham's entitled a new definition of new? its quite good. :)

  14. Chad,
    I've been watching a series on TV called I survived and back. It's about people who have experienced death and somehow came back. Having lost loved ones recently, I have found myself watching every show. What I seem to hear from these people over and over again was that the peace and sense of love that they felt was overwhelming, that they were upset when they had to return to their human bodies. I just think to myself, oh what a beautiful place heaven must be for people to say that they were upset to return back to this world.

  15. Chad, I don't know you or your family, but stumbled upon your blog through another's. As I read what has happened in your life recently, tears stream down my face as my heart breaks for you. Please know that you are in my prayers - I know that our God is so much bigger than anything we experience down here, and your darling wife and baby girl are safe in His company. May you continue to find strength and peace in Him as you grieve.

  16. I can't help but weep for you when I read your blog. The sadness can be overwhelming.
    Go ahead a cry chad-
    May God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand.
    I pray for the day you can think of your girls and just smile.

  17. I read about your story on Abby Rike's FB page. Usually I'm just a chubby, snarky, cussing freak of inappropriateness. But today, I'm just mushy and grateful. Thanks for sharing your story.


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