Dear Old Me

November 2, 2016

[media-credit id=65 link=”” align=”alignright” width=”707″]Old Me, Grief Quote by Nathalie Himmelrich[/media-credit]

It’s been a long time since I last saw you, in fact it seems like an eternity. Still, I remember you. And I miss you, old me.

You had an air of realistic positivity. New things you approached with curiosity and delight. Even though I would say you were cautious, you also loved the thrill of skydiving or meeting new people. Your open and friendly nature was easy to be around and you generally enjoyed life.

You were not ‘old me*’ then, you were young and energetic. It’s just to me, it’s seem that you are no longer…

By no means were you completely naive but you had this childlike openness to new things. You even approached pregnancy with this openness, even though you weren’t considered ‘young’ anymore. The unexpected news of identical twins was met with a burst of laughter and delight.

Even though you had a sensitive nature all along and experienced deep emotions, you enjoyed life and took its experiences with glee. The picture I keep in my mind is you skipping along the path, pointing out the colors of the clouds in the evening sky and hugging trees.

I don’t do that anymore. Serious and many times overly anxious would be the words to describe the new normal me. Highly sensitive to noises and crowds, nowadays I prefer to stay at home over a night out. People around me probably don’t think of me as easy to be around.

The forest and its natural beauty still brings me absolute pleasure and joy, or should I say ‘again’ as it hasn’t for what seems years. Just yesterday I laid under the warm towels from the dryer, enjoying the smell and the comfort of the warmness. You did enjoy this and I just remembered as I was doing it. I had forgotten you, old me …

There seems to be many things that I have forgotten about you. First I was upset, really upset that you were no longer around. Screaming and shouting for you to return, for things to be like when you were me. After some time I realized that loss had stolen you from me. The only way to continue was to get to know the new normal me. Forced acceptance.

After some months or years I slowly forgot you. With that I noticed that (many) friends of the old me had also disappeared. The new me made new friends, mostly other new normal ones. And life moved on as much as I wished to turn back the clock.

The link between you, dear old me, and the new me is however never forgotten. It’s right here in my heart. The child we both dearly miss.

Maybe you would have never left, if the child was still with us.

Missing you,

The New Normal Me

*Note regarding the use of Old Me:

The term ‘old’ is not to mean old by age, but the person before the loss.

Related articles you might be interested in:

My Dear ‘Would –Be’ Child


Dear Child of Mine

Dear Non-bereaved Parent

Learning To Live Without You

A Letter to the Friend of a ‘New Normal’ Grieving Mother




Author Details
Nathalie Himmelrich the author of a number of resource books for bereaved parents. As a relationship coach, grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience. She is also the founder of the Grieving Parents Support (GPS) Network and the May We All Heal peer support group. Find Nathalie’s books here: Nathalie Himmelrich or the Grieving Parents Support Network here: Grieving Parents


    • Abby

      November 3, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      I love this article and I completely relate. Most of my friends have disappeared and I know I am no longer the easy to be around and carefree person I used to be. This really makes me sad. On top of losing my baby, I have lost my old self, and many of that old self’s friends too.

      1. Nathalie Himmelrich

        November 30, 2016 at 4:12 am

        Indeed we don’t just loose our baby or child, there are so many secondary losses that come along the way of our grief pilgrimage.
        Thank you for sharing your journey, Abby.

    • Marina Hanekom

      November 5, 2016 at 7:29 am

      Natalie this post resonated with me so strongly. For six years (after one of my identical twins, Chloe, died at six days old) I’ve been reading the still standing articles and a bit of everyone’s journey is mine. But this article is all mine. I miss the old me so much. I still want to go back to the happy me where nothing bad happens to me. I want to go back to the days where I laughed without feeling guilty that Chloe was not given the chance to laugh. I miss the old me and I still want the old me. I’m used to the new me but I would give the new me up in an instant. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Nathalie Himmelrich

        November 30, 2016 at 4:16 am

        Thank you for commenting, Marina. As you might have read in my bio, I too have lost my younger ID twin at three days old. I feel it’s a continuous journey of a few steps forwards and a few step backwards in regards to the relationship with the new normal. Loss creates such a huge personality change in one’s self that it’s a HUGE adjustment. We have to grow into or with this change.
        Much Love, Nathalie

    • Anne

      November 29, 2016 at 7:45 am

      Thank you Nathalie, you have described my new normal me so perfectly.
      I’ts a daily struggle and challenge to accept who i’ve become after losing my daughter to preterm birth 3 years ago.
      Parenting my now 5 year old living daughter and my newborn baby boy who is such a great blessing after our loss is sometimes overwhelming. Flashbacks and anxiety makes it sometimes very difficult to trust your instinct and the fear of losing a child again is always in the back of your mind.
      Still i pray for strenght and confidence to raise my children well and give them a great childhood and in the middle of the chaos that comes with a young family, trying so hard to enjoy and love them as much as i can in honor of my lost baby girl.

      1. Nathalie Himmelrich

        November 30, 2016 at 4:25 am

        Thank you Anne.
        We are forced to embrace not just a new normal after loss, we are also discovering what the new normal life looks like, with all it’s flavour… the good and the challenging. You described that perfectly.
        Much Love, Nathalie

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