Chloe Weil was my best friend for less than half of a year. I have intensely suffered every single day since her passing, even though at this point she’s been dead longer than I knew her. I am positive I’ve broken some Guinness record because there’s absolutely no way any set of tear ducts could have operated so potently and consistently for so long without faltering.

What no one tells you is that the Five Stages of Grief are not progressive stages at all but phases that come and go as they please, often feeding into each other. There are days you will go “I miss you so much!” to “I bet you’re just tricking us and will pop out of that door any second now!” to “Fuck you! How could you do this to me?” to “If only I listened and wasn’t so self-centered!” and back to “I’d be lucky if even one person missed me this much when I’m gone.”

This negative feedback loop becomes a self-sustaining cancer that keeps you down for long periods of time. Only after you seek the external help to excise this tumor do you realize how much time and energy you lost in your personal hell. And if you didn’t get pulled out of that miserable existence, you end up getting memoirs like this written about you.

I loved all the joy Chloe brought me but I also equally hated all the more frustrating things with which she burdened me. Unfortunately I idealized her in death and as a result it took almost nine months to resolve the guilt I felt, that her death was (entirely) my fault. And it will take even more time for the anger and depression to dissipate as well.

I have lost so much of myself through this ordeal and will never be the same. I have been forever changed by a person I hardly knew and will never truly be able to understand. But in the end, I am glad to have survived this tragedy, as painful as it was, as my life has never been better.

Thank you, Chloe.

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