The day after

No one talks about the day after.

It’s always about the day you got the call. The day you received the news that altered your life forever. When you find out the person you loved was taken from you forever.

That day is horrible too. A day that in the years to come will fill you with grief as it approaches. It’s the day people will call and text to “check in on you.” A day you will dread every year, but one that, in time, you will learn it’s okay to do something special to celebrate and remember them.

But what about the day after?

When you roll over in bed and reach for them only to feel nothing but sheets and empty space where they are supposed to be.

When you open your eyes and realize this isn’t a terrible nightmare, but your new reality.

When you open your phone to dozens of texts and missed calls.

When you can’t eat or sleep and the waves of nausea hit as you try to process the news over and over again.

When you try and do normal things like showering or putting on socks and tying your shoes, but you forget how.

When you feel numb, so numb.

When you text their phone or send them a Facebook message, hoping it will say read and this will all be a terrible mistake.

The first day, you are filled with shock. You can’t process the news. You feel like you’re having an out-of-body experience.

This can’t be your life. They can’t be gone.

But the next day reality sinks in.

It is.

And they are.

From now on, there will always be a before them and an after.

It’s the harsh slap of reality. The cold splash of water on your face. The gasp for air after holding your breath underwater.

That’s when your pain is at its freshest. A wound that has just been cut.

And just like all wounds, this one too shall heal.

It may not look or feel the same ever again, but it will never be as fresh or painful as it is right now, in this moment.

If you are in your day after, please know this: just like all days, this one too shall end.

No day will ever be the day after again.

A new day will begin and one day, in time, so will a new you.

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