Grief, however, still responds to older, deeper rhythms. Rhythms that can't be forced into our Insta-Over-It mentality. The stages of grief have to be processed in their own time, and that processing simply takes time.
For me, with my Mother, several of the stages were accomplished on the long journey. I didn't deny her passing or bargain with God about it. I was ready for the stage of sorrow and gradual acceptance before I got the actual phone call.
As I sit here on a Sunday afternoon, feeling sort of out touch and out of reality, I know that the grief I'm feeling comes from two sources. First, the great sweeping waves that come when I think about Mother. I surf them, feeling them rise and fall beneath my heart, taking my breath away as they crescendo.
When I am between waves, I think, "How odd to be caught in two different grief cycles at the same time." Then a wave comes, be it sweeping or short, and I feel the ancient rhythms of pain take over. There is no way out but through.
God grant that I have the strength to make it through two cycles simultaneously.