The mornings are the worst because I wake up thinking it was all a dream. But it’s not. 

The mornings are the worst because I drive past all the children walking to school and think about Rhys never walking to school again. 

The mornings are the worst because it’s the start of a new day; another day Rhys doesn’t have. 

Apparently there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Contrary to popular opinion they’re not experienced in a exact linear sequence. They can come in any order and cycle around over and over. I experience most of them at various points during the day. 

Denial comes first of course. It’s not real. It’s like a story or a test as to how we’d cope. Rhys is on holiday and will be back later. But then I read the Facebook posts and see other people mourning him and realise it is real. The worst kind of real. 

Anger comes most when I’m driving. Why did the driver stop? Why didn’t the motorbike slow down? Why is there a major road with a pavement that ends, meaning pedestrians HAVE to cross over? 

I don’t do a lot of bargaining. Maybe I’m not close enough to be allowed to experience bargaining. Or maybe that viewpoint is a symptom of the depression. I have “regular” depression. I know a lot about it. Guilt and depression go hand in hand. I experience guilt. Major major guilt. Guilt that I’m feeling such grief when I didn’t know Rhys that well. Guilt that people are giving me sympathy when I’m not deserving of it. Guilt that I have six alive children. Guilt that my 16-year-old is sleeping his life away in his bedroom when Rhys, who always lived life to the full, is forever sleeping. Guilt that I can’t do anything to fix the problem. Guilt that maybe I’m making it worse somehow. Guilt that I should be taking more pain to even it out. 

And then, at the end of the day comes acceptance. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the day. The day has no new experiences to be had, so Rhys isn’t missing them. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced enough emotions for the day and I’m tired. Maybe it’s because I’m in my own house, away from the horrible real world. Maybe it’s because I can see all the support Rhys’ family are getting online and in the real world. And it brings a kind of calm. 

And so comes sleep. Blissful sleep where we can dream of a fair world where people die at the end of long fulfilled lives. 

And then the morning comes. 

The mornings are the worst.