To the lost and lonely,
Marley was dead to begin with. Of that there could be no doubt.
Nor can we doubt the importance of ripping up anything that implies this kind of pain exists in stages. “Stage models” of grief can only have been concocted by those who have never experienced such loss. Anyone who has could tell you that it is not a linear process, or even a process at all. It can be a simultaneous, non-consecutive or even regressive experience.
If it must be modelled, rather than felt (and who says it must be so?), the idea of a dual process is much nearer the mark. Moving back and forth between being ok and not ok, until eventually you spend more time ok than not, is more accurately descriptive of the experience. So don’t feel bad for not being at the right stage at the right time because really whatever you feel is valid and will change subtly in time.
In the beginning, in the rawness of pain that can be grasped even by those only observing, some people will tell you that time will heal you. In as much as time puts distance between you and the moment that fractured your life, they may be correct. But don’t hurry to be healed. The bone cannot be set so perfectly; it will not ossify without deviation. Your life bears a permanent scar of that moment, in time only visible to the people who see right through you.
In years to come, you might find yourself longing for that more simple and immediate pain found in the depths of the well of agony, rather than the fading ghost of a memory that barely draws a flinch when you see a familiar shadow, hear a whisper of a name or catch a scent on the breeze.
These dark days will come and may even overtake you for a while. But don’t forget to move back to being ok again, the world is very different there.
A few final words on the subject. Don´t let anyone tell you that your grief is more or less painful than anyone else´s. Pain is pain. There is no hierarchy. No comparison. Your friends are the ones reaching into that dark well to grab you when you are ready to be pulled out. They will save your life. Don´t manipulate them.
As sincerely as I can be,