The 10 Hardest Things About Grief

It has been three days since the love of my life died. They have been entirely surreal. I think I’m still in shock. I have just been going through the motions. I went to work today. I probably shouldn’t have, but I just couldn’t sit at home anymore.

This is a list of things no one tells you about the death of someone you love most in the world. These are things no one is prepared for.


People go about their business.

It seems like the whole universe should stop in its tracks, but it doesn’t. Not even my world. My dog still needs to poop even if I am a crying mess. The only time I left the house Monday and Tuesday was to take my dog to the dog park.

The weather should match your mood. It should be black and stormy outside, but it’s not. It’s sunny. Sunshine is cruel.

Grief comes in waves.

You can be entirely fine for an hour or so, and then it hits you again and tears come involuntarily streaming down your face. You’re not even crying, but there are tears rolling down your face.

The stages of grief aren’t very orderly.

You hear about the stages of grief. It starts with denial, then moves on to anger and so on, but it doesn’t work that way. I have experienced all of the stages of grief willy-nilly in only a matter of minutes. Then, it starts all over again.

You want to scream at everyone.

Even his closest friends, because they’re grieving in a different way than you are. His mom is posting on his Facebook account. I had to shut Facebook down because seeing “Male updated his status” and having everyone tag me in pictures and posts was something I just couldn’t handle. I asked my best friend to let me know if there’s anything on there I should know about.

The morning after I found out he died, I took my dog out and I passed a man who said, “Good morning. Nice day, isn’t it?” and I wanted to shout at him that it would never be a nice day ever again.

You think of the dumbest things.

You think of stupid insignificant memories and you try to remember exactly what you said the last time you saw him or talked to him. You think about what he would be thinking about and what he would want you to think about and all this thinking never, ever stops. Not even at 4 am, which is the worst time for thinking. I will never sleep again.

You look around and wonder who else knows.

At work, more people seemed to know the situation than I was aware of. I told three people at work, meanwhile at least half a dozen have come up to me with condolences.

You wonder who else knows, not only about your situation in particular, but about what you’re going through. How many people who you pass know what this feels like?

Grief comes with actual physical pain.

It even has a name: hole in the heart. A woman at work whose teenage daughter died years ago told me that. There is a physical pain in my chest like my heart is being sucked through a tiny hole. Grief physically hurts and you can see it on my face.

No one knows what to say.

Not even me. If I had a dollar for every time someone has said, “I don’t know what to say,” I’d have a lot of dollars. I usually just say, “I don’t know what to say either.”

Telling people is hard.

Most people I know already knew through Facebook, phone calls, etc. But, I had to tell the people who know me, but not him so much. I was happy after I went to the dog park and told the last of the people I had to tell. Telling people makes it real and real isn’t good. Real is the exact opposite of good.

Everything reminds you of the person you lost.

Even things that shouldn’t remind me of him, remind me of him. I can’t really listen to music since I’m having to skip every third song. I had to stop fast in my car and an old phone case of his slid out from under the seat and it set me off. Everything I do, say, hear, watch, or see reminds me of him.