It’s been 21 days and the pain still feels the same as it did when I lost him that Monday morning. No, I’m not strong. Please stop telling me that. I’m surviving. I’m in Survival mode. Every single day.

I posted a quote today, “The reality is the that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” Read that again.

That’s just it. I’ll never get over the loss of my husband. This isn’t a playoff game that we lost or a job that I didn’t get. I lost my husband. I lost my best friend. My son lost his dad.

In school we are taught about the stages of grief. The textbook explanation. Yes, there are five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. While we are told there are stages, there is no set timeline on how long these stages last or even if they are in that particular order. On any given day, I can go through these stages. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. I’m also aware of the importance of grief counseling…I’m a mental health advocate.

How I choose to grieve will not be how you choose to grieve. “Society” always wants to place an expectation or time limit on someone else’s experiences. You can’t. It’s my journey and I’m grieving on my own terms.

If I want to post a photo on social media, update my Facebook status, have a drink with friends, send your calls to voice mail or ignore your text…it’s my right.

I’m grieving on my own terms. I’ve always been unapologetic, but this is it on another level.

The day that Moe died, a part of myself died. I will never be the same person I was. Truth is, I don’t know who I am anymore and it’s time to find out.

Alisha Reed