Five stages


grief looks different on everyone. some internalize while others lash out, hemorrhaging emotion at anyone who gets too close. mostly, I figure, it comes in waves. one minute you’re going about your day like usual and there’s nothing that remarkable about it that makes it worth rememberance. wake up, go to work, say and do whatever you’re supposed to and it seems like it’s all the same.

then realization sets in: everything’s changed — they’re dead. the thought itself feels wrong and you’re nearly sick with the pain of it. there’s a hole in your heart where they should be and you forget for a moment why they’re not. you try to wrap your head around it but it’s too big and it doesn’t quite fit. an itch beneath the skin. then comes the anger: you’re mad at them for leaving you and maybe you didn’t get to say goodbye. did you tell yourself you’d do it tomorrow? there’s never enough time.

guilt settles in next: the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s. replaying every conversation (or worse the arguments) you had while wishing you could do it all over again. maybe take back something you said but didn’t mean. that leads to bargaining: the infamous ‘if only’s’. you can torture yourself a thousand different ways imagining all the scenarios that might have happened instead.

by then you’re probably in tears and they seem so inadequate when it comes to expressing how you feel. you want to scream and rage until what’s built up inside you has gone. breathing’s never been this hard. that’s when you have to remind yourself to keep doing it. breathe through the agony, count each one if you can. it gets easier the more you do it: one breath, then two, three and four. try to make it to ten then congratulate yourself on your victory - you earned it. even though they’re not here anymore, you still are and that means something.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

r.i.p. to my brother, his wife, their unborn child Hawk & my niece Melody.


I miss you every day

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