As I open the new 2012 calendar I purchased at the mall, I think about where I have been and where I am going. Is my life what I thought it would be?

Absolutely not! Not since the death of my 20-year-old son, Clint, 6 1/2 years ago. After Clint died, I knew I wanted to find some way to make a good life for my family and myself. I was not sure how we would get to our new normal, but that was the goal. Many times I have asked myself the phrase many moms and dads have heard on road trips, “Are we there yet?”

The heavy weight from the early years has lifted and I even experience moments of joy. Days and even weeks can roll by when all of a sudden something sparks those precious memories and the tumble begins. The bad days return and I wonder, “Are we there yet?”

Where is this place for which I strive? Where is there? Do I put too much pressure on myself when I wonder why I am not there? Maybe I do. Maybe I need to relax and just be. Be what the moment brings. Accept that I am where I am. Some days will be good and some days will be full of sorrow.

Maybe there is a place in my heart that holds all my memories, the happy ones and the sad ones. For the new year of 2012, I will continue to strive for my new normal and to find ways to process the loss of our son. I will stop putting pressure on myself to reach a certain point, and instead accept that my new normal will be made up of many moments.

Written in memory of my son, Clint.

Debra Reagan 2011

Debra Reagan

Debra Reagan lives in East Tennessee with her husband of 33 years. They have one surviving son. Debra is the co-founder of Listening Hearts, a non-profit corporation designed to help bereaved mothers. After some turbulent and confusing experiences, her youngest son, Clint, received the dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a drug addiction. Their lives changed forever when Clint died on August 6, 2005, at the age of 20 of an accidental overdose and bronchial pneumonia. Debra can be reached through the website she maintains for her son at Debra was a guest on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” talking about “Getting Through Mother’s Day.” To hear Debra being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link:

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