thrown over your body. tears break
every blood vessel. breathe. ear to your chest.
you’re not breathing. your eyes are staring
at me but your breath is gone.
breathe. please breathe. please don’t leave me.
take me too.
those men in their black suits, white shirts-
I glance at them. delivering a death sentence.
I cry. tears steal my breath but you don’t breathe,
and then, they close the casket.
the tears may only come alone at night
or when water can wash them away,
but the sadness is not gone. it erupts
in a short fuse. it attacks each living soul,
punished for being alive because you are not.
angry at a world for taking you.
angry at a world for not understanding.
angry I don’t know why. but so much easier to manifest.
you hit the bottle. half of you hopes
it blacks you out, the other half hopes
it numbs you out. out with friends,
out to bars, out to eat, out to the store,
traveling down the list in search for fulfillment and purpose-
none of it feels the same anymore.
forced to try to resort to an old life,
a life that died because I died when we buried you.
nothing is the same.
guilt for going out. guilt for trying to be normal.
guilt for smiling. guilt for breathing.
guilt for living. guilt for not knowing sooner,
for not saving you, getting you better doctors,
for not stopping those ignorant physicians
who saw hospice and stopped caring,
instead of honoring the oath they took to save lives
guilt for stealing your pain with the result of your heart stopping.
guilt for not being there enough.
guilt for death. guilt for all of it.
guilt for living.
maybe denial comes before death
and coping masquerades itself as denial.
picturing you and talking to you, because you
surpass life and death.
immortality. you were supposed to be 104.
denial. this isn’t how it was supposed to end.
I know you’re not here. I know I visit you at a tombstone
instead of home, but my mind can’t comprehend this loss.
it’s not denial. it’s coping. coping through
the one impossible thing
we never thought would happen.
there are five stages of grief
but maybe there are more.
some the get you to healing,
some that take you to whatever
is on the other side of that
because I’m on six.
I have nothing left.
Five Stages of Grief
By: Allison Ryder