There’s a grieving stage that no one really warns you about. I’m in it now. I’m past the initial shock of it all and almost at the 2-year mark. Time does help when it comes to losing someone, but only to a certain extent. So much happens in those 2 years. You go through an extremely rough patch during the first few months when the death is very top of mind for everyone. Then things settle down a bit and become logistical – taking care of his stuff, dealing with his “accounts”, going through his things.
But after all that is over, there’s this new phase… the forever phase.
I’ve had these world-shattering moments now where “forever” just hits me. I’ll be in the middle of a normal day, making breakfast or something, and I’ll think about some sarcastic comment he’d make and I’ll realize that those comments are gone “forever.” And suddenly I’ll just burst into tears and brace myself on the counter as I try to make his voice as loud as I can in my head – I want to keep it there.
And then I sit down for a minute and can’t help but to think about how none of it is ever ever coming back. I will never hear his voice again. I will never hug him again. He’ll never make another joke. I’ll never hear the sound of his motorcycle pulling up. He’ll never make fun of me. I’ll never call him. He won’t ask me “if I’m done with that” and proceed to finish the food left on my plate. He won’t have any more projects going on in the garage. None of it is ever coming back again.
Forever is a long-ass time. It’s so definitive and yet ambiguous at the same time.
It’s a phase I wasn’t really prepared for. I guess it still feels like he’s just been away for a while. So the fact that that is NOT the case is starting to really sink in and it’s hard to come to terms with.
I guess I was more aware of the other stages of grieving. I’ve seen people go through it before. And I’ve wondered what happens in the years later – if it’s something you just get used to. But right now, it feels like purgatory. I feel like I’m in this middle phase where I haven’t quite accepted his death and where there’s nothing to do except reminisce. I don’t have the distractions of taking care of “his life” like I did these past 2 years. He still felt somewhat alive to me when I was immersed in his business and surrounded by his things. But as I enter this new phase of having to put that all behind me, a whole new kind of sadness has begun to sink in.
But life goes on, and many changes have recently happened in my life that give me new things to look forward to. I’m reminded that there really is a circle of life and with every ending is a new beginning. I don’t dwell on his death or the loss for too long – just long enough to allow myself to “feel” and to let the sadness out. I kind of just breath “the forever” in and out for a little while, I tell him how much I miss him (often out loud) and then go back to making breakfast.
It’s all part of life – the pain, the grieving, the sadness. There’s nothing to do to fix it. And in a way, there is comfort in that – knowing that some things are just better left as is. I don’t feel like any of this “shouldn’t be”. It’s all just part of the rollercoaster – sometimes with unexpected turns and drops. But a thrill either way. And the only way to be fully present to “the ride” is to take it all in… to just feel all of it.
I’ve found that the key to getting through times like these is to see them as all part of the process… the key is not to find fault in it or think that it should be any other way. It just is. And I do find comfort in trusting that I don’t need to know why we lost him. I don’t question the plans of the universe or get lost in a rabbit hole of wishing things were any other way than they are. I try my best to let it all just come and go and for the process to continue to unfold.
If you’ve lost someone you love in your life, my only advice would be to just let yourself feel it all. It’s just part of this human existence we call life. And you’re not in it alone.
In memory of Vincent Anthony Posa.