Year 1

I wrote a piece about grief for year 5 with Aaron, but I think so much of it is true for you too that I’m going to roll with a variation on it. Hope that’s ok.

There are so many things about grief we don’t talk about. So many tiny elements in our minutes in the after that go under the radar unless you’re also living them. 

There is a connection felt with those who carry loss with them. Our atoms feel each other. 

The stages of grief are bullshit. You’ll feel every one of them on and off from day to day, month to month, year to year. Monday I might accept you’re gone, Tuesday’s denial and Wednesday too, Thursday I’ll be angry at you and Friday I’m back in shock. 

Other people live in a timeline where there are limits for your emotions around your loved one. Fuck that. You feel whatever you need to feel when you need to feel it. You’re not wrong for laughing two days after you lose someone and you’re not wrong for being a blubbering mess years after. 

You’re never the same after you lose someone. Death changes you. Your life becomes a time before/time after split. It sucks. 

Memories you make after get this really fun new layer of guilt with them because inevitably you think at some point ‘man, I wish X was here/could have seen this/done this/existed in this moment’.

There will be an insane amount of pressure from outside forces to move on. I’ll always question people who suggest that, and wonder why they’ve never loved as fiercely as I’ve loved. There is no moving on, there’s just moving.

You will hurt. Mentally, physically, emotionally. You’re going to feel some shit. You’re going to learn to carry it with you, you’ll earn the strength to do it, but it’s a bitch of a journey. 

Closure is complete bullshit. I’ll never stop wondering if one small outreach could have made a difference.

Your last moments with them alive will replay in your mind. A lot.

Life events and milestones will be bittersweet. Places you go will have a tick mark of before and after.

Why are entire years strewn
On the cutting room floor of memory
When single frames of one magic night
Forever flicker in close-up
On the 3D Imax of my mind

No day but today. 525,600 minutes. Out Tonight. There’s only us, there’s only this and then, it’s gone.

Facebook memories will not be as fun anymore. OneDrive ones, even less.

You will find an exorbitant amount of things in day to day life that will remind you of the person you lost. A butterfly, a bird, just a stormy sky feels like a hello or a hug sometimes.

Finishing a book will always have a moment of sadness that I can’t pass it on to you to read next, or that you didn’t tell me about it in the first place.

People will play grief Olympics a bit. Let them, you know how you feel, love is not a show you have to prove to anyone. 

You’re going to feel numb sometimes and raw others. 

Meeting new people who have never/will never know your person is weird as hell. You’ll never feel like you describe them effectively or give their personality justice. 

You may buy movies and never watch them purely because they remind you of them. 

Explaining your person died doesn’t get easier. If anything it gets harder to hear ‘I’m sorry’ or worse yet no reaction at all to this information.

Sometimes, you’re just going to need to throw up. 

Anyone that judges your grief process deserves swift removal from your existence. 

What you lose with that person will sting. You will learn things and be pissed you cannot share them. You will hear songs and be pissed they will never hear them. 

You will wish you had taken more photos, more videos and that you’d saved voicemails just to hear mundane words from them again.

Loss is loss. There is not a scale for worth that differs between friends and blood. 

You will blame yourself. You will reply conversations wondering where you went wrong. You will blame others. You will blame yourself for not noticing the mistakes of others. You will blame science, religion, existence itself.

Nothing you do or that you learn about them after will really change the love you hold for the person that died. They earned it. They get to keep it.

Everything really is pretty fucking awful. 

Music will run the gamut between healing and breaking you all over again.

The dead never really leave us completely. The indents in our hearts they built carry on in every tiny thing that reminds us of them.

Traditions will continue or be built from the ashes. You’re so special you get two holidays in my life now. You both do.

You really don’t get over it, you don’t even get used to it. You just learn to survive it. 

You will cherish every hug you ever shared. Every cup of coffee, every silent afternoon reading books. Every failure, every success. Every tiny and huge moment.

Buffy will never be the same. My Anya with a healthy dash of Glory. One-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind.

Cliche bullshit will become amusing.

Gas pumps will always make me chuckle a little. The fact that I brought you Red Bull after giving birth will always be amusing. Yellow will always make me smile remembering the cavy and how proud you were and I was of you.

Armadillos, hostess cupcakes, sweet dream cigarettes, more stories by the lake, more moments, more tequila, more love, more anything. More is better.

If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.

Thank you for being there for me in some of my darkest moments. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for all of yours, but I’m forever thankful for the one that solidified our friendship. I’m glad I decided to follow you home and sit on your porch with you.

You will always be my person. Always.

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