Today was my first day back to work, and it was tough. I still feel shocked and shattered, and I suppose I also feel kind of guilty for trying to move on with a normal life. Life cannot be normal without Mack, so trying to be normal without her seems disrespectful. Doesn’t it? No, no, no! Of course not. I know that’s not true. It’s just so damn hard to feel that it is false. Mack loved life, and she would want me to keep living. And, the truth is simple: most of the stretches of good hours that I have managed to piece together in the last three weeks have been focusing my mind on things other than my lost daughter. Only when I concentrate on a conversation about the weather or politics, watch a baseball game, or listen to an audio tape of a Harry Potter book can I keep the sorrow at bay. Because for now, when I think about Mack, I cry and lose my breath and the despair devours me.
So, I DO know that I have to find my new normal. I must work. I must focus on something other than the despair. I must stop the self-pity. I must find constructive outlets. I certainly cannot lie around listening to audio tapes of Harry Potter forever. No lies, though, people. This is a rough business making a new normal. Going back to work was hard, and it will continue to be hard for a long, long, long, long time. It is a terrible challenge to focus on work tasks that are far less important to me now than they were on October 6, the last day of my old normal. However, focusing on work will help keep my emotions as calm as is possible now and, ultimately, my hope is that the work will again be rewarding. But today, all work did was to keep me from giving in to my sorrow. I guess that will have to be enough for now.