Today I have been angry. I have been completely angry since the very second that I woke up. No one talks about anger online. No one blogs about just having a bad day or being so angry you think your head might explode. We only talk about good things… we only publicize the parts of life that other people will like or will make us look like we have it all together. Why the hell doesn’t anyone talk about being angry?!
Today I’m just mad. They say the first step of grief… they say it’s denial.
This isn’t happening to me. // This cannot be happening.
I wanted my first post about Madden to be something beautiful because he was beautiful. Something that showed I do have it all together and that while death is sad, I could relish in the beauty of Madden’s life. And while many parts of that are true, today I was just angry. …And I don’t really think that’s bad or weak or whatever we as humans find diffident about feeling emotions that the world sees as negative or depressed. How can we feel joy if we are unwilling to feel anger and sorrow? We lose pets, or parents, or siblings, or grandparents, or children. Loss all feels the same.
The first week after Madden died, I truly felt a sense of disbelief. I kept feeling like he was on vacation. I mean, after all he was only two so he’s just a baby still and there is no way he can really be gone. But he’s gone.
I realized this last night when my mom handed me his ashes. Still living in denial and an unwillingness to accept the truth, I grasped a party bag… yeah. Everything came in a bag that looks like it’s your birthday. Instead, the cotton-braided handles divide to reveal a bottomless canyon of cards of sympathy for your loss and a poem about pets and death and loss and moving on. And the smallest box of ashes that should never exist.
So then my disbelief became reality. And then I was angry at reality and the coolness of how heartless life can be. The second stage of grief.
It’s easy to say life isn’t fair when everything seems fine. When everyone’s okay. It’s usually then that we bravely utter this pathetic platitude that knowingly no one wants to hear. But when you’re angry about reality… it’s hard to remember that life just isn’t fair and that this too shall pass and every other feel-good cliché.
Apparently bargaining, depression, and acceptance comes next. Okay, Kübler-Ross… I’ve already felt a mix of every single one of those stages in the last 24 hours. But thanks for doing your best to ration them out in stages. I think.
So there it is. Grief. Big and bad and ugly. It roars it’s stupid head in our lives more often than most of us care to admit. Because let’s face it… the brave faces typically get the glory. But let’s not forget that we’re human and imperfect. Grief is human. Grief is natural. Let’s not be afraid to admit our defeat.
We miss you, Mad. Something horribly painful. We’re grateful that your body is strong and well and enjoying all the goodness of Heaven. But, oh. How unbelievably painful is our loss of you.
Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven’s love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun