Dear Jakey,

I know that life won’t ever be normal again. I know and accept it. I know that we are supposed to get used to this “new normal” that you read about in books about loss and we heard all about in WaveRiders. And for the most part I get it. I get that the life we live now is this new normal. Our routines, as different as they were before you left, have become normal. Going to TKD instead of staying home with you is now very normal. Not having Cait after school to play with you while I hung out with Ethan has become normal. Putting Ethan to bed instead of giving you your meds and laying down with you is now normal. And I sometimes start to think that we are used to this new normal and then something comes up that reminds me that I am far from normal. And it makes me wonder if I will ever be normal again. There are certain things that I just can’t do yet or can’t even think about. There are certain risks, that may not even be realistic risks, that I am unwilling to take. And there are things that I know don’t really make sense or are even hypocritical – like the way that I won’t let Ethan play football because I am terrified of a head injury yet I let him ski or ride around on his skateboard. The way I let him have some playdates but not others. The incredible, at times crippling fear of losing him. I just can’t lose him too. Jakey, losing you is the most indescribable, horrible thing and the mere thought of anything happening to your brother can make me sick to my stomach, unable to sleep and a complete internal disaster. So I tell myself that it takes time. And maybe with time some things won’t terrify me. But I know that bad things happen and I know they can happen more than once. And at this point I can’t take any risks, even if they don’t make sense to anybody but me.

I miss you so much and I miss our real normal, which I guess is now our “old normal”. And I miss being normal.