A woman is in despair with many tears pouring out of her eyes

The Stages of Grief, Maybe

There are hundreds of websites that address the stages of grief. Over the past year, I've read many of them, but none fit me. I've been through a lot of grief in my lifetime, and I know that the majority of people in mourning deal with the loss of only one person. That's bad enough, I admit, and I'm sure those websites help a great many people. I've never found one that addresses multiple deaths in a short time span.

Three-story grief

In the past eleven months, I've lost three significant loved ones. Last June, my wife died from metastatic breast cancer. As her caregiver, I battled it with her, and when she died, the grief hit hard. We'd been together for 21 years, and were so close, I can't even describe it. Then, my best friend from junior high school died without warning. She'd always been my muse, and never quit believing in me and my goals for a life in music. When her husband phoned to tell me, I nearly collapsed.

On the same day, not four hours later, another of my closest friends from high school died of liver cancer. He'd been my big brother since 1965, as well as a mentor. This is the three-story grief I'm talking about. I felt like I'd been in a car crash with these three soulmates, and only I survived.

Don't feel sorry for my grief

I suddenly feel abandoned in my grief. Alone for the first time in my 70 years, I feel forgotten, old, and left with nothing to look forward to. My grief sent me into depression and futility. I've become agoraphobic and anti-social. I sleep my days and nights away and am consumed by fatigue that's burrowed down into my soul. No amount of anti-depressants help.

I'm not telling you all this so you'll feel sorry for me. I'm doing it, hoping to reach out to others who can relate to my experience. If what I'm going through can touch another aching person, it's not all pointless. I know I'll get back to myself at some time, so I'm not rushing things. I'm trying not to sink deeper, but that's still a black cloud on my horizon. I hope the winds blow it in a different direction.

How I am handling my grief

In the meantime, I battle housework, yard work, and even writing. Some days, I don't get dressed, don't eat, or brush my hair. Two weeks after my wife passed, our cat also died. I immediately began a search for another, hoping it would fill up some of my lonely hours. I in fact got two from the same litter, and they lighten my day and comfort me at night. We take naps together, and I rather like living a cat's life.

I'm not saying naps are the answer to grief, but they allow you to get away from things for a while. But sometimes, all the coffee and sparkling energy drinks in the world can't touch this fatigue. You and I are tired, aching, lonely, bereft, and feeling as if we're eight feet under. Might as well take naps.

More to come

I'll be writing more on grief in the weeks to come. If there's something I haven't addressed, which I'm sure there is, leave a comment below. And since there is more coming, please bookmark this page so you don't miss those articles. Now, I think I'll go take a nap.

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