I don’t think I’ll ever believe that you’re dead. I don’t believe in that now and I don’t think that I ever will. Everyone’s throwing a fit: “Eighteen months and she’s still in the denial phase! That’s only stage bloody 1!!” This is not denial, nor is it a phase. Nor is it a coping mechanism, for I wasn’t coping when you were alive and I’m certainly not coping now that you’ve left. It’s not strictly disbelief of the fact that you’re dead but rather total and utter belief that you’re alive in a different way, in a different place, in a different realm, that you’ll always be alive. As long as I’m alive you can never die. And when I die, we will both be alive, again.
I just picked one of your hairs off the sleeve of my jumper. It rattles me when that happens. I can see your old denim shirt hanging on the clothes rack among my blouses. I can’t bring myself to wash it. I thought the scent would’ve faded many months ago and I almost collapse when I bring it close to my chest and discover it still smells like your flat: like mildew, tobacco smoke and so much love and warmth and laughter and wisdom.
Really, the 5 stages of grief are bollocks. I’ve done all the stages before, in the right order, in the wrong order, multiple times a day, for weeks and months on end. Grief, in me, is constant. I was grieving for you when you were still alive, during those 15 years that you were sick, before you actually left. I was grieving for you yesterday, I am grieving for you now, and I will grieve for you until we are both alive, again.