• Female
  • Arlington, VA
  • United States
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Please visit my blog "Life After Normal", a chronicle of how I am navigating my life's journey following my brother's suicide and other major life changes.

About Life After Normal:
When we are young, we are taught that if we follow the right path, everything will end up “happily ever after.” Go to college, get good grades, get a career, meet someone, fall in love, get married, have kids, etc. etc. etc. It’s the simplified portrait of a successful and joyous life that we hear so much about.

The lesson that we were never taught, however, is that sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan. Life can be challenging at best – sometimes even excruciating. Even the most joyous moments often come with an emotional toll that was not anticipated, and can be seemingly impossible to deal with. It’s the smack on the side of the head reminding you that things aren’t and never will be perfect, and the “normal” that you previously defined for yourself no longer exists (if it ever did in the first place!).

I am guessing I am not alone, waking up and finding myself in my mid-30s and wondering not only what the hell happened, but also what the hell is next. While some of us may experience some kind of trauma or major life event that directly impacts yourself or a loved one – illness or death, job loss, relocation, foreclosure, military deployment, divorce, raising children, financial issues, the list goes on – for others it’s just the realization that life isn’t what it was expected to be.

But that can be okay. It can even be good. Simply put, you just have to define a new normal … and understand that a “normal” may just never exist.

Life After Normal was set up to chronicle one woman’s journey (that would be me) through major life changes, both planned and circumstance. I hope that by sharing what I’m going through you will recognize that you’re not alone, and even find some humor in the ridiculous curveballs life continually throws us.

Laura's Blog

Helping Others in Need

Posted on August 17, 2010 at 10:19pm 1 Comment

I came across an interesting essay in yesterday’s New York Times, “Coping with Crises Close to Someone Else’s Heart” by Harriett Brown. Brown’s piece describes the often puzzling changes that occur in personal relationships after one side of the friendship

goes through a tragedy or traumatic personal event. I certainly related

to her observations – not only as a “suicide…


Pain: Seeking Owner

Posted on August 13, 2010 at 7:00pm 1 Comment

I would imagine that anyone who has suffered a tragedy at some point – in my case, the suicide of my brother nine months ago – hears comments to this effect: “Oh, but compared to what you’re going through, my problems are meaningless … I feel silly telling you.” I know these comments come from a place of kindness, but it can be incredibly frustrating.

After a tragedy, the hardest thing…


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