I always thought of grief as the five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (not necessarily in that order).
But what I failed to realize is that you never really get over grief. It leaves a void that can never be filled. And although you take comfort in the happy memories and the love you shared, there is an emptiness where that person was that will likely remain with you for the rest of your life.
You learn to live with it — to eventually accept it. But it is always there.
I can’t pretend to speak for everyone’s definition of grief. But death is something I’ve thought about a lot in my short life.
I do not believe in an afterlife. But I do find comfort in the fact that those who I’ve lost are at peace – in the sense that they are not in pain anymore.
Regardless of a life spent, it always feels like they are taken too soon – that there is so much left unsaid. A life unspoken.
But then I think of all that was said. And the moments I will cherish for the rest of my life. As this Reddit post so eloquently puts it (thank you friend), the wave of grief never really disappears. And it’s better that it doesn’t. I am better for knowing them and loving them and being loved by them.
And for all the memories and moments we shared, it’s a quiet two-hour morning in early July that I remember the most. The stress of a loved one with addiction – however temporary – had just passed. And the stress of Covid – the virus that would eventually take them – has yet to pass.