Goodbye normal life

by Christine Dudek

I wish I had the words to describe the deadness that occupies the places in me where other things once lived – -things like humor.

It seems like I have a sense of humor at times but everything is shallow. The depth that I used to experience and feel is gone. Pain is what I feel deeper and more often than any other feeling. I feel that even more than I feel love.

I swear sometimes the miss, and the sorrow, and the regret are so deep that my bones ache.

Bone sad.

I hate being still more than anything because then my mind just wanders to the hurt and so flying for hours in a plane is exhausting. The sadness is consuming when I can’t pace or fidget or move shoes. (I am in the shoe business.)

I don’t know what else to do with the blinding pain and so I guess I’ll just keep writing to spill it all out of me.

Here’s what the thoughts sounded like today during the excruciating stillness of tiny airplane seat. I woke up today and so I guess I’m still here. It’s been almost 7 months since my son’s suicide and I still can’t decide if the agony of waking is worse than trying to get sleep. I am never rested.

There is a split second – just a fraction of a moment in time – when my eyes first open that I am unaware of my own lack of normalcy. I know that normalcy is overrated and, it might even be boring, but I long for it with the knowledge that it will never be me. I am not normal. I am alive and my son is dead.

This is an unnatural order of things so severe that normalcy is an impossibility.

So I wake up, after tiny increments of restless sleep, and in that fraction of a second before my senses can wrap themselves around a day, I am unaware of my own unnatural existence. Then the wave crashes and I feel the weight of Tyler’s suicide.

Grief is not linear and there is no final destination. It’s like traveling over tough terrain in unfamiliar territories without a GPS. And I have a terrible sense of direction. So mostly I’m just lost.

In memory of Tyler James Dudek who died by suicide

9 thoughts on “Goodbye normal life”

  1. I am with you. It’s been 4 1/2 years for me, but I do remember waking up every morning like that. It took a few seconds, and then I would just lie there and stare at the ceiling. I didn’t have to get up. I had no job, no other kids, nothing very important to do. Then one day you will wake up and it will take a minute for you to think about it…then one day 5 minutes….
    Keep going.

  2. How i wish I could say I can’t imagine what your feeling but i DO know. My only child Kyle took his life on May 24, 2016. He was 21 years old. To say we were blindsided is an understatement. Here was an ordinary boy, happy, going to college, great group of friends, never gotten in any trouble. My heart aches every day thinking of the pain that he carried inside of him. What you describe is spot on – the deadness of feeling anything but the pain. Trying to smile is painful, laughing feels forced. Waking up in the morning after a restless nights sleep and realizing that – no, this wasn’t your worst nightmare, that this is real and he is not in the next room, sleeping peacefully in his bed. Missing his laugh, his hugs, his great smile, every little thing about him. Bless you and Anne Moss for having the strength to write the words that we feel everyday!

  3. And people around you who have moved on ask that incessant oblivious conventional salutational question “how are you doing?”.

  4. While i have not lost my son to od or suicide i have ‘lost’ hom for the last 12 to 15 years..i found that when i cut my hours back at work and had more time on my hands i became very sad..found myself grieving. .again..over all the lost opportunity and memories i see so many of my friends celebrating..we move through this stages at differing rates..and hopefully dont get stuck…i know my new normal is not what i wanted but trying to embrace and i too am using the written word to deal with whatever is coming down the road. My child was a gift to me almost 28 yrs,ago on 9/26..my only child as well..

  5. I remember years ago I stopped at a yard sale and I mentioned to the lady that owned the home what an immaculate yard and home she had. She explained that her son had died in a head on collision while on a motorcycle. She said since then she HAS to stay busy. I didn’t understand then but I do now. If I’m physically busy my mind doesn’t rest on that familiar new place where there is so much pain…..

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