A Nonlinear Guide on How to Grieve:

  1. Lose something – this isn’t restricted to people, also includes memories, abilities, opportunities, relationships…
  2. Watch your heart break into smithereens as you come into a realization and full understanding of your loss – note, this looks different from person to person.
  3. Deny the realization that you’ve suffered loss. It can’t be real. Your loss can’t be real.
  4. Get angry at God, at life, at random people and even the people you love. Kindly note that you don’t need a lot to trigger your anger. Simply be reminded of a plan that will never find manifestation, a promise that will never get fulfilled, a trip you’ll never get to take with them.
  5. Learn curses and insults even if you only use them in your head. They’ll particularly come in handy when statements like “I understand what you’re feeling,” “don’t you think you’ve mourned enough?” or “you should snap out of it already,” and their other variations come up.
  6. With loss comes new titles, and one new one you’ll get is Chief Creative Officer of Imagining “What If” Scenarios. In these images, your loved ones are alive, you’re together, you get the opportunity, you’re happy. everything is perfect. Then someone calls out your name, and you’re once again reminded of the tragedy that is your life.
  7. You’ll have a favourite question, and most times, it’d be one three letter word – hint: it has the same pronunciation as a letter of the alphabet. It’s the why. Why? you’ll ask. Why? Why? Why me? Why now? Why not them? Why the good ones? Why my own person? Why? Why? Why?
  8. Fall bank into denial. Repeat the lines “it can’t be true,” “it’s a lie,” “I can’t believe this,” as if it’s a potent charm that’ll reverse your loss.
  9. Cry. Wet your pillow. Drown in your tears. It might be the only thing you’re strong enough to do in a day.
  10. Stare at the mirror and run away from the sight of who you’ve become. That stranger in the mirror is surely not you!
  11. You’ll walk down the street and smell a scent that’ll trigger memories. Today, you’ll keep walking, however, when that happens tomorrow or any other day, you’ll break down. There’s simply no rule book for this.
  12. Again, you’ll be confronted with your reflection in the mirror, but this time you will stare back. You will accept that you’re no longer who you used to be. You’ll make peace with the ways grief has transformed you, the bits and pieces it has taken, and those it has added. You’ll forgo the idea of perfection and choose to live as you have become now. You’ll accept your transformation. You’ll no longer run at the sight of your image in the mirror. You’ll stay.