Just over ten months ago, I lost my husband of four years, my friend of thirteen years. Before then, I thought I knew grief. Now I know that grief is a language only mourners can speak.
Some days are easy. I know he’s gone, but I’m not acutely aware of the fact as I go about my day, struggling between discipline/activity and inertia. Some days are hard. I know he’s gone, and I’m aware of all the things he would have done or said for most of the day. I may or may not shed a tear or twenty.
Some days are straight out of hell. I know he’s gone, and I’m paralysed by the pain of my awareness. I feel the pain on my skin, I can’t get out of bed, and I can’t eat a bite. I cry for hours, deep wracking sobs and silent tears.
I had encountered the five stages of grief theory at many different points over the years. I had gotten the impression that it was a tidy, linear progression from denial to acceptance.
I have experienced the five stages of grief these past few months. And I know now that it’s not tidy at all. The stages overlap and work in reverse sometimes. Sometimes, it’s denial and acceptance all at once. Some other times, it’s anger and denial at once. And sometimes, it’s just a trailer load of pain that is near impossible to describe. It doesn’t even pretend to be tidy.
I have accepted the messiness of the grieving and healing process. I know the pain of the loss will never completely go away. I know that I will have days when I don’t want to get out of bed. I know I will have days when my sight is blurred from the tears in my eyes. I know that my tears will leave marks as permanent as the ink with which I will have to sign so many documents without him to cosign. I know that I will have many lump-in-throat moments as I watch my son blossom into an amazing man.
But I also know that I will laugh and love like I have never lost. I already do. Because life is as beautiful as it is ugly. And I am grateful for the time I had with him, even if I wish it weren’t so short. I had a beautiful thing, and though I know he’s gone, I also know I will always have him.?❤