by Lori Dwyer on August 21, 2012 · 12 comments

Things shift and change again. Maybe this time it will be a blessing.

We have been in the TinyTrainHouse almost a year.

My daughter turns three next month.

My baby boy, my son... he starts school next year.

I will be thirty one years old soon.

The winds here in the Highlands are changing, temperature beginning to creep away from frigid winter.

I have been in a state of perpetual upheaval since Tony died, and that was nineteen months ago. I’ve always felt slightly removed from it, so disconnected it was like watching a rerun of a movie you’ve seen a dozen times while you surf the net on a Friday night.

I’m not going to lie to you all and say I’m completely plugged in… I’m not, and if you read my blog a lot, you probably know that. But for the first time in such a long time– not even since Tony died, but since a few months before that– I feel as though I have some element of influence and intuition over what’s happening. I’m a part of this shift, if I allow myself to be. If I stay switched on, exhausting as it may be, I can see this one through and at least feel as though I’m molding myself with it, changing as I go.

Rather than feeling as though I suddenly glanced up from that random Friday night web page I was reading to discover the movie I thought I knew by heart has been seeded with strange new twists and sub–plots that don’t make any sense….

Instead of feeling as though I’ve been spat out of the centrifuge, while everyone else gets to settle in around me.


My aunt and godmother has lost both her sons (one was murdered and one died from suicide). She said its like the fabric of her life is made up of things she has been through – good and bad. She has had to weave in the black bits and incorporate them into who she is. She found it helped her to think of that weaving process, because her first instinct was to want to cut out and throw away the painful bits. Accepting the impossibility of that was her first step in accepting the different (wiser, sadder, hurt) version of herself.
Taken from an email from a RRSAHM reader… and it resonated. Thanks Fi.

It’s taken me until to begin to assimilate everything that’s happened into the Lori I was Before.

Its not just the fact that he died. It’s the way it happened. It’s that I was there. It’s what he said in those last few minutes.

It’s the up and down of the ICU. Lasting three ungodly months in the House That Was No Longer Purple. Packing up my kids and my life and moving it all back to the place where I began, then shriveling with loneliness and doing it all in reverse.

It’s losing friends and finding new ones. Losing my children for a bit, and finding them too.

It’s been the strangest anomaly. I stopped waiting for life to ‘go back’ to normal months ago. I was waiting for a new kind of normal to come along… when we’re already living it.

I’ve spent so much time– right from the beginning of the After, from the moment the sky fell down– struggling against it, fighting every piece of it so as to internalize none of it. An unaskable task. An impossible battle.

I’ve been working so diligently toward what I thought was the most acceptable outcome here– to go back to ‘normal’ Lori. People began asking for her return just weeks after Tony died.

She’s never coming back…. because she hasn’t gone anywhere.

I’ve been attempting to be the same person I was in the Before. To be Lori in spite of what happened. It occurred to me just recently– and I don’t now why it’s taken so long, either– that it’s OK to be Lori because of what happened. It’s impossible not to be. Every event in your life alters you… the ramifications of this on the person I am, on what I think and feel and believe, are huge.

They’re also permanent. If I’m ever going to feel any kind of real again, I need to take these things– the events, the fall out, the trauma and everything that has followed– and make them mine.

I’ve done very little perfectly. But I’m still here. Some days I feel as though I am the brave warrior women some of you think I am. And some days I am brave, heart thumping with adrenaline as I look over the battlefield I’ve made it through. I’m bloodied and bruised and exhausted… but I’m standing.

And ‘some days’ are enough.

I will not let this become all of me, swallow me whole the way it’s been trying to since it happened.. But it will always be part of who I am. To quote the Bloggess, right back at the beginning of the After…

It’s part of me. Not all of me.


August in Sydney bring springtime. And with it come the winds, gale force and freezing, blowing away the skeletons of winter debris. Stripping rotted growth from its holds and allowing sunshine to reach the soil.

It’s time to garden again.

The weather, it’s getting warmer. And this year, we will have a summer.

I’m almost sure of it.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Humaira October 25, 2012 at 7:18 am

Your courage, your honesty, your integrity, the fact that in spite of everything you still spill your heart into your keyboard and press publish. And that when you do the beauty of your words writes on the soul. Mirtazapine 30mg


Lynn Roberts August 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

Hi Lori,

found you through "the bloggess" this week and just wanted to send some love from the UK.


Anonymous August 22, 2012 at 5:42 am

I have been following you for a while, I think probably since around the time that Tony died. This is the most lovely thing I have read, it moved me greatly. I don't really know what to say – well done seems like a platitude – I guess I want to take you for a new tat & then some cocktails. You are doing good. The new normal is good.


Wanderlust August 22, 2012 at 1:21 am

This is truly beautiful, Lori. I can see the arc of your healing through your posts these past 19 months. I felt this one in my soul, because I understand it, because it resonates with me and what I've gone (am continuing to go) through. I've lost people I thought were good friends and there is no why, at least no communication with me as to why. Just gone. I know I am not who I used to be. I know I will never be. But I trust I will be a better version of who I used to be, once the darkness lifts. I see that in you, too. You have walked through the fire and it has honed your spirit. You have emerged transformed. x


Melissa August 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Beautiful, Lori. Just beautiful.


Rachel August 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Oh Lori.
I honestly believe that you are one of the most extraordinary and special people it has ever been my privilege to meet. I always thought that you were cool and had a twitter-crush on you even in the Before. But now, you are transformed. I am sure you don't see it, but you are truly amazing.
Your courage, your honesty, your integrity, the fact that in spite of everything you still spill your heart into your keyboard and press publish. And that when you do the beauty of your words writes on the soul.
This has made you something, someone else. When I try to explain this transformation, what you have become, words truly fail me. A goddess sounds melodramatic, but there is truth in it. An angel sounds lame and airy fairy. An angel of darkness, if I can mean that in a truly rockstar kind of way, maybe goes some way to explaining.
One day I hope you will see the incredible person in the mirror that I see when I come here, or visit you in TinyTrainTown. I really wish that for you.
Love always Pix xoxox


Miss Pink August 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Just because you've seen ugly things, lived ugly events, it doesn't mean that you are ugly.
I definitely agree with Fi that it's a new part of you that instead of cuting it away it gets woven in with the you that already existed. In the end you're still Lori even if you completely changed who you were because we as humans evolve and change all the time. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not.


loulouloves.me August 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I hope the sun shines for you this spring…


Bin August 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I can't believe you are only 30! Such a wise head on those shoulders. I thought you were older than that by your writing. I'm 31 but feel I still write like a silly teen


Meri August 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

>>>I've done very little perfectly. But I'm still here< <<<

Sometimes that is all we can say.

No-one has done everything perfectly, actually if you think about it seriously – no-one has done anything perfectly.

>>I was waiting for a new kind of normal to come along… when we're already living it.< <

It came as a shock to me too, when I was mourning everything that had changed in my life, and waiting for the old normal to come back, then realising that Im already in the new normal, not better – just different….. a new me, a new life, a new normal…..



Confessions of a Wanna Be Yogini. August 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

To be you, is divine. You can be whoever you want to be, the before, the after, the NOW :) I love who you are. Your expressive self. Your depressive self. Your wonderful self. You are you – and that should be enough for everyone, including you. Embrace who you are, and where you have been, and worry about the now, less than the future. It'll all come together the way it is meant to… <3


Anne August 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift

Mary Oliver


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