Stages

Of course grief can't last only a day. I was a fool to believe otherwise. I woke up this morning in a fresh coat of anger. Deep anger. Clicking "cancel relationship" on the relationship status of my Facebook profile was easy. A defensive play. Removing pictures, connections. Easy.

We're not destined to be together forever, he says. He's right, I told myself with gusto. I'll show you destiny. He told me to be angry with him. It'd make it easier. A clean break.

But at the time, anger felt impossible. I couldn't come up for air long enough to be angry. I was broken. Those eyelashes are mine. I hold those hands. There was no room for anger amongst the despair. Anger only spilled out of the cracks in my heart. Big cracks. It wouldn't hold.

Someone else is out there for me, he tried to convince me, while I begged him not to. How can he say that? He is here for me. Stop saying that.

He told me to stop crying. It hurt him to see me cry. I cried harder.

Please. How many times did I say please to him? Please don't do this. Please. Please, it'll be better. Please don't leave.

I looked in his eyes and saw him. I know he was in there. The one who loves me, the one who wants to be with me. I searched. I searched for a way to get him to come back. But he couldn't look back. Don't change my mind, he said. Don't. Stop crying. This isn't going to work.

I crumpled to the floor, next to the kitchen table, on my knees.This was happening. Denial phase over.

I have to go, he said. I have to go.

And he walked out. No goodbye. No hesitation. No last glance. I watched the door close. My last memory.

As I lay my cheek on the floor, the silence of the apartment overwhelming, it struck me: he just walked out. I am broken on the floor, and he left me here. He left me here on the floor.

Fucking coward.

I found my anger.

I was triumphant today. Angry. I talked about it with ease, a clear improvement over yesterday's broken sobs and despair. I was angry. He left me broken on the floor.

The dull ache at the back of my throat and into my chest was gone. I smiled, I laughed. I was me. I was going to be OK. I am OK.

I crawled into bed, Harley and Chicken at my feet. But darkness offers no distractions. They came back to me, the memories. All of them, each flash. I couldn't suppress them anymore, and I let them out in a tortuous wave.

The crying began. I muffled the sobs into my pillow. The same pillow that muffled my sobs two nights ago as he lay next to me in the darkness. He was right there, holding my hand while breaking my heart. Now he's gone.

I thought the grief stage was over. Grief and anger are at war on the inside. Night time is the worst. I lose the protection of daylight, and every vulnerability is exposed.

He left me broken on the floor, and I don't know whether to cry or fight. Tonight I cried. But again I'll wake up a fighter.