Stages of Grief

Moment: No! You have to be kidding me. This is not a funny joke. Tell me this is a joke. This is a prank. This has to be a prank. Please tell me it’s a prank. 

One hour: So, this is it. This is the end. I want to believe that it is a joke but it’s not. You are lying here in front of me, dead. A lifeless body. What is happening? How did it even happen?

Two hours: It’s your funeral and I am standing here, doing nothing. Helpless and hopeless. I am seeing you for the last time. This is the final goodbye. 

Ten hours: How did it even happen? Why didn’t I see this coming? How could I not see this coming? I should have done something. I need to do something. 

One day: I want to cry. I want to weep like a baby. I want to scream my lungs out but every time I open my mouth, all I find is emptiness. It’s like I am choking on my breath. I feel like I am going crazy.

Two days: I haven’t slept in two days. Every time I close my eyes, I see your face. Not the happy, smiling face that gave me hope but a dead lifeless one. Your dead face is etched in my memory forever. 

One week: I visited your grave today for the first time. I sat there and I talked to you for an hour and all I hoped was for you to reply, to talk to me. 

When I buried you, I buried a part of my soul along with you. With you, I lost a part of myself that I can never replace. 

Your absence has left a gaping hole in my soul that seems to grow every time I think of you. 

One month: I have still not come to terms with the fact that you are gone. It’s been a crazy month for me. 

Sometimes when I enter a room full of people all I wish is to see your face. Sometimes I feel like you will just walk into the room and act like you never left or maybe you’ll have a hearty laugh at the prank you pulled on me. 

Two months: Every time I think of you, all I can imagine is how the last moments would have been for you. Were you in pain? Did you scream? Did you cry? Did you ask for help? Or did you just let go? Did you go in peace? 

Six months- What if I could have done something? What if there was something that you would have wanted to say or do? 

It’s crazy how I have come to hate myself for not texting and calling more, for not being there enough. 

I think of all the plans we made and how they will never come true. I think of all the promises and how they are just words that don’t mean anything anymore. 

Nothing I do will ever matter because you are not here anymore to see me do it, to guide me through, and to cheer me. To pick me up when I fall. 

One year: I started to forget what you looked like. Even though I have pictures of you but how can pictures ever replace your presence? I have almost forgotten your voice and I hate myself for it. 

Even though made memories together and I hold them close to my heart but how can those memories ever be enough? How can they make me feel what your presence made me feel?

Two years: I have lost count of all the sleepless nights I’ve spent thinking of you. 

I know I am supposed to live my life because I have one and you don’t. I know I am supposed to move on because that’s what you would have wanted me to do. I know you would have wanted me to be happy. I know it’s the right thing to do. I know it’s a healthy thing to do.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to move on. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to let you go. I have tried to but I have failed every time. I have fallen into the deepest pits while trying to do so. 

I don’t think I am ready to let you go yet. I don’t think I will ever be and I know it sounds crazy and toxic but it is what it is. 

Sauleh goes by the pseudonym, Chilaikalaan. He was born and raised in Srinagar, Kashmir and is currently based in Bangalore.

Featured image: Karla Ruiz / Unsplash