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Ordinary Days

Years ago, I read a lovely novel, The Magic of Ordinary Days , by Ann Howard Creel. Back then, I truly did appreciate the magic of ordinary days. I did. I greeted each day with purpose and a very long to-do list. I fixed breakfast for my family, packed school lunches, awakened grumpy children, went to the school bus stop, folded laundry, emptied the dishwasher, walked the dog, shopped for groceries, made PTA calls, scheduled doctor appointments, showed up for my volunteer shift in the library. Then, I greeted the school bus (or waited for the front door to open), and dealt with the chaos of after-school snacks, music lessons, sports practices, homework, family dinner, baths, and bedtime stories. I was so grateful to be a full-time mom. Even navigating the challenges, the bumps in the road, the injuries and illnesses, the disappointments with school….it all felt so purposeful, so significant. It was magical.

So, now that I have no choice but to take on the mantle of bereaved parent, is it worse because once life held such promise, such hope… I know that I can no longer bear to look often at Facebook; the accounts on the wall of ordinary days bring me to my knees. I loved ordinary. It makes me so sad that my ordinariness has vanished.

The challenge now is how to be on the planet when I don’t want to be here. I am on the planet; I get out of bed, I function on some level. But I don’t want to. It’s the wanting to be here piece that I have lost. So, I keep reading the books and seeing the counselor and going to TCF conferences and working to stay in relationships with people I care about and trying not to lose hope that maybe, one day, I’ll want to be here.

Peggi Johnson

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Comments (7)

  • How sad for you and your family. Such a terrible loss. I held my 16 year old son when he died. We were hit by a drunk driver, left with physical and emotional injuries. The physical heals, the emotional is a constant reminder. It would have been so easy for me to “check out” but I had 3 other sons and a husband. I’m glad to still “be on the planet” as otherwise, I would have missed 10 grandchildren and 81/2 great-grands. It’s been 36 years, the tears are never far away but life is good.

  • Hi, I too lost my son, Peter, 16 n a 1/2 to suicide at home w/all of us at home. This is so real, although it’s been 17 years it seems like yesterday. Just put one foot in front of other everyday, my compassionate friend leader always told me. It never gets easier, just slightly bearable. Take care

  • Peggi–this post hit exactly how I feel EVERYDAY. My daughter was my only child, my only purpose and I feel like…what do I do. Trying to navigate some kid of purpose, a place that makes me feel that being here is worth it. I struggle with that everyday. Thank you for sharing, you put into words what I often struggle to find. I still wake up every day wishing I would not. I know in time it will get better, I hope.

  • Peggy, my ♡ hears your ♡ ~`~ Here’s some words that I penned after r son left this side (we had r Gem for 19 & 1/2 summers). A FEW MORE WISHES Wish I had know U longer ~Wish I had more time – 2 hear your dreams, watch U grow, navigate life ~Wish we had more summers together, experienced a few more rainbows after the rain ~Wish U were here 4 a few more sunrises, a few more winters ~Wish I had more time -2 C your smile, admire your crazy style, feel your warmth, hear your life song, capture more beautiful melodies ~Wish we had taken a few more runs together, shared a few more adventures, a few more meals together, few more ping pong matches, few more heated discussions, a few more belly laughs ~Wish I had more time -2 watch U, ride w/U, grow w/U, learn from U ~Wish I had more time 2 C U high jump a little linger, become stronger, stand taller, walk farther ~Wish I could step into where U r ~Give U 1 more hug, 1 more kiss, 1 more High 5 ~Wish your sunset had not come so soon ~C U n r tomorrow my love ~C U n r sunrise ~Tomorrow will b brighter ~ Together we will welcome the Sun. PJ loving SC & remembering & honoring all those who occupy beautiful heart space

  • Hi. We lost our son Tom almost 16 years ago to a speeding driver. On face value we have the “ordinary” back. We’ve had two more children, now 11 and 13, our elder daughter has married and given us three grandchildren; our lives are once again filled with the wonderful, chaotic madness of young families and all that goes with them. On the surface I perform all the tasks I did before we lost Tom. But. In reality there is a part of me that can’t wait for it all to be over. For this life to be over. I’ve never said this to anyone – it feels like a betrayal of all those I love who are still alive. But after every birthday, Christmas, family occasion a small voice inside says “ah good, that’s one less “.
    And really – sad as it is, how could it be any different when a part of your soul is absent from daily life. Love to you all.

  • Dear Peggi.. Your words really resonated with me.. I too missed the ordinariness of life when I became a bereaved parent. I had a bit of a rough road to motherhood so always fully appreciated how lucky I was to be blessed with children and the ordinary fun, chaos, tiredness, repetitiveness, hard work and joy that comes with them. My third child, Adam, was stillborn and the precious ordinariness disappeared from my life.. followed by divorce and the suicide of my eldest son Steven when he was 19. Apart from the devastating grief, I hated how ‘alien’ I felt in the world, and longed to feel ordinary again. Steve died 15 years ago and I do now feel peace and happiness again. Steve and Adam are always with me and help me to feel extraordinary. I have met some amazing people (friends) during these 15 years, most through Compassionate Friends, and am so proud of them and myself, for not only surviving, but eventually thriving in honour of our beloved and precious children. I now want to be here and I’m sure you will too. Sending much love and big hugs, Lynn xxx❤💙❤💙

  • Just lost my beautiful boy and his partner in a motorbike accident… the days are dark and the helplessness unbearable. Supportive family can do so much… where can I go to find him??? How am I going to bear the pain? Today he was to be the best man st his friends wedding. I wanted to scream his name and call him back!!! What does the future hold for me and his father???

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