WSN: Coffee and Conversation with Larry Ahrens

Full disclosure. I cannot stand the term “the new normal”. I was quite happy with my old normal, thank you very much.

As widower’s we were forced to deal with the new normal when our wives passed away. There is just no getting around it. We have been forced into a new normal against our wishes and many of us are still trying to find out what that looks like.

My wife Susan passed away in March right at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic and the subsequent lock-downs. To this day I still haven’t had a funeral for her or a memorial. Only 5 people were allowed at her burial. I see what is going on in the country and yes it makes me angry that protesters can gather by the thousands, but I’m not allowed give my wife a proper sendoff. But that’s a case to make at another time.

For me and many other widowers both the loss of our partner and the pandemic have forced us to deal with many changes. Conquering fear of what may be coming is at the top of the list.

Writer and theologian C.S. Lewis said, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

Many of you are aware that C. S. Lewis could have been a star member of this widower’s support group. He wrote two books about grief after the passing of his wife Joy.

In his book “A Grief Observed” he gives us a glimpse of what our new normal has the potential to be for us. Lewis admits that grief is, “like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.”

We know the image Lewis is casting. Happiness almost feels a little haunted, a bit out of our grasp. But time evaporates some of the tears. And a new normal for our lives begins to take form.

Lewis wrote “Nothing will shake a man — or at any rate a man like me — out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.”

This is a beautiful and a very honest record of how even the strongest man can lose all sense of meaning in the passing of his wife, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

There is where we eventually find our new normal and our renewed life.


Larry Ahrens is a radio (KDAZ 96.9 FM) and television (KCHF-TV) personality in Albuquerque, New Mexico where his show, “Coffee and Conversation” is broadcast-ed. Larry’s articles appears every other Thursday, right here, on WSN-MO. You can send private messages to him on Facebook.

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