Oliver turned around and looked at me. He was an odd sort of a guy – he was okay – just kind of spaced out and in touch with some parallel universe or something. Every now and then though, his insights were worth listening to – and this was one of those occasions.
“There are seven stages of grief, dude.” He said in his soothing voice, “Once you’ve worked through them – you’ll come out the other side a better man.”
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. It was the sort of advice I wanted to screw into a ball and throw right back at him full force between the eyes – I was so sick of hearing what everyone thought was meaningful and heartfelt advice. “Time is a great healer…” Get lost. “God only gives you enough to cope with…” Great – thanks for that. Good to know.
Every cliché in the book had been said to me in the last seven weeks and I’d had a belly-full. I just wanted them all to leave me alone – so I could cry in peace and try to get on with my life – and to try to cope with little George – who, in spite of everything else, was becoming rather delightful to me even though I was finding it mostly bewildering.
“Oh yeah? What’s the first one?” I knew Ollie well enough that he would only want to tell me the stages as he saw me suffer through them – like I said – he’s weird.
“Well, the bereaved – that’s you, dude.” No shit? “Will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You’ll deny the reality of your loss at some level, in order to avoid some of the pain.”
“Right,” I said, wishing he’d just shut the hell up. But he was on a roll…
“The shock of it all provides some sort of emotional protection – must be the mind’s way of coping with it all – and stops you from being overwhelmed all at once.”
At last he seemed to be getting to the end of his monologue, but his final few words left me with little comfort, “This can last for weeks.”