The Four Stages of Losing Someone Who’s Alive
On the outside you tell yourself that their absence is temporary and they will be back and things will be back to “normal” and you’ll smell them again and hear their laugh and things will be okay and you aren’t worried or scared to death
But on the inside, somewhere deep within your soul you have a feeling that maybe you’ll never see them again and maybe the last time you saw them was the last time for good and then you can’t even remember the last thing you said and, oh yeah, it was I love you
And at this point their absence stings but it doesn’t burn
You send so many text messages, and they start well-thought out and then they turn impulsive, your pride doesn’t matter anymore and you call again and again, so much that you memorize how many times it rings before you get sent to voicemail, exactly six, and you wonder what you’ve done and if it’s repairable or not. And then your own heart starts screaming at you, what have you done?!, what have you done to lose their love, why don’t they love you anymore?
You beg them and you wait and wait and you wonder, what if you died, would they care then? And you know you would never do such a thing, but still you wonder and it tears you apart and nobody knows
You tell yourself not to look
Not to look at all the pictures and videos and letters and notes from the past nine years, and it takes everything you have but now and then when you’re alone, you’ll find yourself reading the old emails, the funny ones, and they still make you laugh and then you cry. Into a ball on your bed, crawling under the covers and trembling and hiding from it all. Why won’t it stop?
And one day you see them in a shopping center while you’re with other friends, and you make eye contact for two seconds and you feel a spark of something in your heart, and you start shaking and your throat closes and you look away.
The mending of yourself
It will come in small bursts, but you will notice your spirit reviving. You find things that you never found while they were with you, and you will bloom just like its spring and you are a daisy and you will lose the numbness and the tears will lift from your cheeks and they won’t be able to hurt you anymore. You will find light and life within new people, and new hope, and new adventures, and they will be nothing but a memory
Eden Smith, Sweet Spade