Grief is not five stages. It is five thousand stages.
It is a worthless trip to the grocery store that you stop at because you don’t want to go home, but the thought of cooking reminds you of the last thing you made for your person. So you buy laundry soap and coffee filters and try to forget about mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.
It is being mad at new things. New movies, new music, new things in your life. Mad because your person would have loved those things. Or hated them. You can hear them saying, “Let’s go see that.” or “That looks dumb.”
It is feeling like you’re drowning all the time. And being okay with it because you don’t have the heart to try not to drown.
It is the internal argument you have with yourself to throw the pills away. Do not chase the high that won’t actually help. You tell yourself that that is a rabbit hole you will not climb back out of so do not throw yourself down it headfirst. It’s not worth it, you tell yourself again and again.
It is being scared to change. Scared to become someone that they didn’t know.
It is being mad that you have this monumental, horrific reason to be mad. Mad at the tears that spring up when you least expect them. Mad that sometimes you forget, and then feeling guilty for forgetting.
It is seeing an ambulance and wanting to puke.
It is digging your heels in and willing time to stop because every day that passes puts you further from the last time you spoke to your person. The sun keeps setting though and it keeps rising and the days keep passing without your consent.
But grief is also love in one of it’s purest forms. It is unrelenting and strong and overwhelming a lot of the time. But it is realizing that you will always love who you love...and loving that. Realizing that no one can steal that love from you. That it won’t go away, or falter, and that you won’t forget.
It is holding onto the idea that you won’t always be drowning. That one day you will wake up and realize that your head is above water again, you might not be swimming yet but at least you’re treading water. One day you will swim again. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or next week or next month..but someday.
It is learning to be someone new, someone that will be forever changed but still someone that your person would love.
It is throwing yourself at the good that makes you smile, the memories, the laughter, the love.
So grief is five thousand stages. Five thousand brutal stages. Some days will be miserable. Some days will be okay. Some days will be almost normal. It won’t be how it used to be, it will be different and new and hard.
But there is light down this path. Love yourself. Keep loving your person. There is life to be lived still, even on the days where it doesn’t seem like it.