We Aren’t Allowed To Grieve

Three years on April Fool’s Day, 
and I don’t know if I miss him, or the fact of his existence.

Both, I think.

Both, and more.

This is what grief does to us. 
It latches on to the ones we’ve lost, and it sucks the personality out of them.
As time accumulates, they diminish into nothing more than an
Imaginary Friend.

It’s sad, but it’s painfully true. It’s agonizingly honest. It’s just real.

It makes us feel crazy. It makes us feel like, 
After x amount of days,
we have to stop talking about it. 
After y amount of months, 
we can’t cry about it.
After z amount of years,
it shouldn’t even be a glimmer of a thought.

How do you detach the imprint of someone’s earthly life from your own?
Because, as far as I’m concerned, when someone means something to us,
we trade a piece of us for a piece of them.
And we carry it. And we hold it close to us. And they become part of us. 
For always.

No take-backs.

But, what happens when they just disappear, one day? 
What happens when that part of you they took is gone from this world,
Gone from your reach. A part of you has left your world,

But, after x amount of time, don’t bore others with your thoughts on the matter.

Just keep accidentally staying up passed midnight, and keep finding yourself looking though their pictures, sobbing, clawing at their image 
Because it is the closest you’ll ever get to touching their cheek, for as long as time continues.

Sobbing because you can’t remember exactly what their laugh sounded like,
Or how exactly their face crinkled when they smiled, or when they cried. 
You can’t, for the life of you, recall how it felt to just be beside them.

And it makes you crazy. It makes you absolutely mad because they were real.
They were alive and pulsing. And you touched them, and you spoke to them, and you listened to them, and you shared moments with them, and now

Don’t even mention them. Because it has been long enough, and you should be okay, by now.

They’re not allowed to be anything other than an imaginary friend. 
You’ll get almost no affirmation of their existence, just the pictures you dig up. Just the inside jokes that you try to convince yourself actually happened.

It’s frustrating because grief and mourning have no expiration date. 
They aren’t some sickness that we have to overcome. 
Losing someone you love is losing a part of you.
The aftermath is not a brief condition,
it is a new reality that permanently changes the way we perceive the world.

Unfortunately, grieving for longer than what is deemed “appropriate” is unacceptable. 
It’s not “professional.” It’s not “normal.” It’s not “strong.”
So, for now, I’ll keep to my lonesome remembering.

My imaginary friend’s name is Evan. What’s yours?

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