Do Passive-Aggressive and Bitter Fit Into the Phases of Grieving?

I’m not a believer in neat little transitions between “stages” of grief. Grief is messy and complicated and ugly. It is not dainty moist eyes on a lace kerchief. Well it might be, but it is also heaving sobs that drown any nearby material in the angst and sorrow of a broken heart. Grief oozes, it doesn’t moisten. I now understand why people moan.

I have nothing to do. Nothing to pack up or give away. Nothing to inherit or sell or manage. It is just me alone with this loss. I cannot distract myself.

Here is what I’ve noticed

People say they are sorry and then disappear. It is a vanishing act like the last five minutes of Mass before the parking lot gets crazy. It is a ritual that lacks much meaning these days when Christianity is on the wane. But we still say it.

People don’t really like (or believe?) in the ‘anger’ phase of grief. They run away either because their feelings are hurt when I say something snippy or they anticipate hurt feelings that are complicated to navigate. It is my job to tell them when anger phase ends and bargaining begins? Does that mean I’m bargaining away my anger in order to have the comfort of human contact? Is that what bargaining means?

A lot of people have reached out to my wife offering condolences to her. They don’t call me. Or email me. Or text me. They tell her. That’s tacky as fuck. It doesn’t count. No soup for you.  If you don’t want to face the angry queer grieving bitch, send a note.

People who have blocked me on Facebook will send me a condolences and then reinstate the block. ????

I am an angry griever and people give me wide berth. I’m angry at what my mother had to endure, what I had to endure too, and that all these pious mourners did nothing to protect any of us. One of my cousins told me not to be so bitter – bitter! About a family protected rapist who harmed countless women. Of course I should be bitter.

Another cousin told me how many people came from so far away to attend services because she’s being a passive-aggressive jagoff about the choices I made. If someone drove from Chicago, that is lovely. My Mum would appreciate it. It has zero to do with my choices. Trying to manipulate me with these facts is what I consider a major dick-move.

Don’t be bitter. Ha. Have you met me?

Also, if I’ve asked for space, that still endures. I appreciate your kind words, but that doesn’t create an opening to like everything I post or be my BFF. Respect the boundary is how you respect my grief.

My friend Nina sent me a gift card as a casserole, then my friend Pam did the same. Those gestures touched my heart deeply. They both know what it is to lose a parent. They don’t begrudge me my anger, bitterness, or feelings. They just sent food. Our friends the Sarahs made me potpie. Unfortunately our broken microwave makes that a bit of a challenge.

If you are reaching out to me, please understand that in addition to this grief I am living with a chronic illness that is wasting my body away. I have very little energy, can’t focus or concentrate well, and need some patience. I’m wasting away.

Two people sent cards. One was my friend’s father who honored my request to have a mass said for my mother. I don’t think she had a proper Catholic funeral mass. It would matter She would want masses said. The cards were lost in the mail. I begged my neighbors to help me find them. One appeared in our mail slot, but not the one with the mass card. I am devastated about that.

I think we’ve raised $700 for Kerry’s Kitten Fund which is very nice.


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