The Grieving Process

I had never understood how actors can cry on demand. How could you summon up such sadness to produce real emotion? That was until I lost my best friend and my world turned dark.

My first encounter with grief came unexpectedly. It arrived with confusion, numbness and disbelief. But quickly, in between the “What if”s and “If only”s I learned that this would not be an easy process. For someone who finds solace in writing, I couldn’t articulate how I was feeling, no matter how much I tried. Days passed, then weeks and now months and I’m beginning to lose faith that time heals all wounds – what if the wound is too deep?

Living with grief is like having a black hole inside my chest that threatens to swallow me.  If I think too deep I’ll drown in it. It is like constantly swimming against the current; whilst other people may be happily floating along I’m fighting to stay above the surface. In every minute of the day, a black fog surrounds me reminding me of the magnitude of what has been lost. Sometimes the unjust nature of the world feels too much to comprehend and sadness overwhelms me.

Grief amplifies your emotions – you feel everything that bit much more… or not at all. I pick out flowers to lay with great delicacy and arrange them as if I am a florist – not a girl crouched over in the rain at a cemetery. And then sometimes I collapse into tears at the slightest inconvenience to my life. It turned me morbid – why make plans for next year when tomorrow isn’t guaranteed? Why try to be kind when the world cruelly conspires against the ones you love? I had a lot of questions to which there was no answer.

Grief made me bitter. Grief made me mad. Grief made it impossible to take anything too seriously because what was the point after all?

Everyday I live with my grief. “Grief is the price to pay for love”, Pinterest informs me and maybe that’s right. As someone who aspires to see the glass as half-full, I couldn’t fathom any positives. The only gratitude I felt was towards having the time with him to have loved him.

On the perfect last day we shared together, he begged me to stay out with him and go on a night out but I didn’t. And now I can’t bear to stay out in town; I only last a few hours until I’m consumed by my emotions and I call a taxi home. They say to cherish the memories but sometimes they sting too much.

I can’t decide which one of the five stages of grief I reside in. Denial, anger, depression – can they be felt simultaneously? “Everyone experiences grief differently”, was the pinnacle of advice that was gifted to me but that left me lost. How do I grieve? What is the correct way? Because the burden of grief doesn’t get any lighter.

The ultimate stage of grief is acceptance but what happens if you don’t want to accept the loss of your best friend?


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