The Stages of Grief from Loss: I Miss My Husband, but I Don’t

The Stages of Grief from Loss

I Miss My Husband, but I Don’t

stages of grief from loss
Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

I have a personal story I want to share openly finally. My experience with the Stages of Grief from Loss: I Miss My Husband, but I Don’t. My Healing Grief Loss Journey.

My blog is part of my creative space and business, and I’ll discuss anything I want here. So keep reading along…

I usually post on my blog about making money online or working from home.

Some content about the best in music, books, or anything that will improve me as an individual. 

That I can share with you all that could help you on your self-development journey too.

But today, I want to get personal about my journey. This is my therapy.

stages of grief from loss
John & Jamie Clay

My husband of 16 years passed away on November 3, 2020. I miss him dearly, but I don’t. You may be wondering what I mean.

Well, my husband and I had an unconventional marriage relationship. I stayed faithfully in covenant with him until death we parted.

He had a wife (me), one mother of one of his children, and five baby mommas (there is a difference, I’ll explain another time)! A total of 11 children. And some grandchildren. I do not know the number. lol

We were unsuccessful in having a healthy blended family situation because of personalities, unforgiveness, resentment, financial hardship, and ongoing strife and discord.

I don’t miss that. My husband has been dead for almost two years.

 stages of grief from lossI still get letters from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services Data Gathering Unit.

In an attempt for them to collect arrears on closed child support cases.

Oh yeah, when they sent this to him, but me! The vital thing here is that my husband is DEAD, and so is the child for this child support order. He died in 2012 at the hands of the Chicago Police Department.

I keep asking HOW are you going to collect from a dead man. He is no longer on this earth.

They know he is dead. I went to court for him. The Judge ordered the case closed. I even presented a death certificate in court and by mail, but they keep sending these letters. It is the 4th since he has been gone.

My husband had a complicated case with the IDHS Child Support Division, which I’ll share later.

Still, the fact that they keep sending the letters confirms he was wronged in all his cases because of miscalculations, fraud, and numerous errors. 

This is what he continually went to court for to get corrected, along with his right to have a relationship with his children.

They acknowledged the error but never fixed it. It all impacted his livelihood. And his health from all the stress.

It feels like emotional torture to receive these notices consistently. They put me in the wrong place, contributing to why I no longer miss being married to my husband.

I miss him, but I don’t miss the shit that came with him.

Because of the drama of having multiple babies with multiple women, his time was wasted in a system that milked him to absolutely nothing.

And then, a part of a system he wasn’t educated in when he was ordered to pay child support through the courts.

You see, he never had a problem with the child support division. He had a problem with the system and numbers not being fair and correct!

Although I don’t miss that! I miss having my person. He was my confidant. My only real-life friend that I did life with every day.

Many times, I didn’t view him as just my husband. He was my friend first.

I honestly enjoyed being his friend more than I did being his wife.

He loved me unconditionally; he was my support system. And I was his! He was the only person who truly knew me. 

He didn’t like some things about me, and I didn’t like some things about him. We were honest with one another. 

Even if we were mad at each other, we remained loyal and showed each other true agape. 

He looked out for my needs and well-being. He was my source of physical intimacy and comfort.

I thought we should have stayed friends and never married. So that he could’ve lived a life without all the drama because he married me.

Everything in his life changed.

I struggle with the guilt of not missing him entirely.

I feel relieved of the worst parts of life with him. But yearn for the best details—our friendship.

I felt the need to be open about my feelings. I hate grieving! It has been a total energy drain for me.

It’s hard to concentrate. I no longer trust people; I stay in isolation; I come out sometimes but probably not enough.

I’m numb, and I feel too much, in my opinion. I’m sad without warning.

I lost people along the way. I don’t know anybody anymore. I no longer feel connected. And I’m not ready to connect with anyone currently. Well, at least some of the time.

Everybody is a stranger. Even the ones I know got my back. It’s just not the same.

Nothing feels right anymore. And I’m doing my best to continue with everything in my heart, mind, soul, and spirit.

Don’t get me wrong! I have people whom God has sent me along this journey that has been a complete blessing to my children and me.

But if I can be honest, none of it helps my enduring and consistent pain.

Losing a loved one doesn’t just disrupt a person’s life—it changes it forever.

When you grieve, you can feel both physical and emotional pain. People who are suffering often cry easily and can have:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Little interest in food
  • Problems with concentration
  • A challenging time making decisions

Even writing this post brings tears to my eyes. I cry all the time about nothing now.

At least sometimes, I don’t know what I’m crying about. I’m only tired of crying.

When someone does something or manages me in a way that doesn’t make me feel good, it just makes matters worst.

And intensify the smallest of issues with other people. But I know it’s because I’m still grieving, and I don’t know how not to let it affect my relationships with the people I encounter along my journey.

I’ve lost people I thought were my friends. I found out they weren’t. It’s the heartbreak on top of the heartbreak.

I acknowledge my heart is broken!

I’ve probably been at the root of why some people who have left my life have walked away. I naturally have no problem telling a person how I feel about anything. Grief or not!

So, I’ve pissed people off or alienated them because I come off as uncaring and overbearing in my approach when things do bother me. They run and cut off all contact with me.

It’s been devastating because I open up to people and find I probably shouldn’t have. But when I think I’m safe, I find out I’m not.

I carry the guilt of being the reason people don’t want me in their lives. I may be far-reaching, but it is the way I feel.

When grieving

Pain and guilt: makes you feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other people’s lives more complicated because of your feelings and needs.

So, I go back in isolation, where I can’t offend anyone because I don’t want to offend anybody.

Especially the people I love and genuinely care about.

I found people not to be as genuine as they profess.

I don’t want to be offended, either. But I don’t think the people who all know I lost my husband almost two years ago ARE BEING SENSITIVE TO THIS TRUTH because I look like I’m ok on the outside.

But on the inside, I’m in so much pain. It is sometimes excruciating; I’m not used to being this sensitive emotionally.

I feel everything literally; I overthink everything! I no longer feel secure like I used to.

It’s like I’m in constant pain. I want a break, and I want it to stop permanently. I know I can’t stop the process of grief. But I want it to stop.

When grieving

Avoiding, ignoring, or denying yourself the ability to express your grief may help you dissociate from the pain of the loss you’re going through. But holding it in won’t make it disappear. And you can’t avoid grief forever.

Over time, unresolved grief can become physical or emotional manifestations affecting your health.

You must address it to heal from a loss and move on. If you’re having trouble processing grief, consider seeking counseling to help you through it.

Understanding the stages of grief will help you in the process so that you can grieve well and get to a place of healing and wholeness.

stages of grief from loss
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

In my research on the topic “the stages of grief,” I found two sets of grief stages.

There are five stages of grief, according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In her book “On Death and Dying,” she wrote that suffering could be divided into five stages. Her observations came from years of working with terminally ill individuals.

The 6th stage of grief: Finding Meaning, published by David Kessler—an expert on grief and coauthor along with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The seven stages of grief are another popular model, according to, for explaining the many complicated experiences of loss.

The Five Stages of Grief are:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

The Sixth Stage of Grief is:

  • Finding Meaning

Meaning doesn’t eliminate the pain, but it does cushion it. Meaning is in what we later do or realize as grieving people.

The 7 Stages of Grief are:

  • Shock and denial
  • Pain and guilt
  • Anger and bargaining
  • Depression
  • The upward turn
  • Reconstruction and working through
  • Acceptance and hope

It is important to note that people grieve differently.

So, you may not go through each stage or experience them in order. The lines of the grieving process steps are often blurred.

We may also move from one stage to another and possibly back again before moving into a new phase.

Our pain is unique to each of us, our relationship with the person we lost is unique, and the emotional processing can feel different to each person.

We must take the time we need and remove any expectations of how we should perform as we work through the grieving process.

Sounds easier said than done!

I don’t miss my husband because it hurts to miss him. I want to want him back. But I feel it is selfish because he suffered when he lived on earth.

The best part of life for him was his kids and me. But we weren’t enough to keep him happy and healthy.

I loved him so much I wouldn’t dare wish for him to come back. Especially after all the hell, I saw him endure on earth.

So, I do my best to move on. I had to accept that losing my husband was a significant part of my life. I am getting to know the new me.

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Death has been a threat to my identity.

Are you a husband? A wife? A widow? A widower? For so long, your identity, in some way, reflected your relationship with your significant other.

I know mine was!

Now that you must live independently, without your partner, your identity may need to shift and change.

I’m forced to start over again and don’t have the energy.

The grief regarding him makes it hard for me when people who are still alive walk out of my life. And Stop talking to me.

I’m left with the unwanted grief of people who live and can still come back but choose to be gone.

They feel like death to me all over again.

And I’m forced to grieve them while I’m already grieving. Now I’m confused.

I no longer want to continue this journey of consistent grief. I understand that it comes in waves and stages. It has been a complicated path thus far.

What is complicated grief?

Complicated grief is like a constant, heightened state of mourning that keeps you from healing. Symptoms of complicated grief may include intense sorrow, pain, and rumination over losing your loved one.

I can safely say I toggle between depression and acceptance and on the journey of finding meaning. 

But sometimes, I experience anxiety on records high enough to affect me emotionally in the worst way.

It’s just really been hard for me to miss him entirely.

I’m happy he is free from hell on earth.

Estranged relationships with his family and friends, financial hardship, baby momma drama, cancer, and simply being a Black man in America.

Sometimes I feel bad for feeling this way, but then I don’t.

I look forward to the day that my peace will be consistent. Although I say this, I have serenity. It is a peace that surpasses all my understanding. And that keeps me.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

What Does the Bible Say About the Stages of Grief?

stages of grief from loss
Photo by Claire Kelly on Unsplash

I like the Bible because it tells a story of a King and His Kingdom. And it has information to serve as a guide to those who encounter the experience.

The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 34:8 that after the death of Moses, the children of Israel mourned for 30 days.

The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days until the time of weeping and mourning was over.

The standard mourning period for a person in Jewish culture was seven days. Genesis 50:10 notes this as the initial mourning period for Jacob.

In American culture, some never stop grieving.  We tell each other to take our time. 

Perhaps, something about this process has to come to an end! To everything, there is a season.

A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. -Ecclesiastes 3:4

Because the truth is and it is going to set you free. Life goes on. When that person, place, or thing no longer exists.

The biblical approach to grieving and growing identifies eight scriptural “stages” of our response to life’s losses:

Stages of Hurt

  • Denial/Isolation — Candor: Honesty with Myself
  • Anger/Resentment — Complaint: Honesty with God
  • Bargaining/Works — Cry: Asking God for Help
  • Depression/Alienation — Comfort: Receiving God’s Help

Stages of Hope

  • Regrouping — Waiting: Trusting with Faith
  • Deadening — Wailing: Groaning with Hope
  • Despairing/Doubting — Weaving: Perceiving with Grace
  • Digging Cisterns — Worshiping: Engaging with Love

Trying to balance the feelings of pain and loss while moving forward with your daily life can be extremely difficult.

It’s essential, to be honest with your emotions and not lose hope. Turn to the following Bible verses for ease, comfort, and strength as you navigate through the many stages of grief.

So, with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. — John 16:22

I can do all this through him, who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. — Revelation 21:4

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory revealed in us. —Romans 8:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18

Whether you think of grief in five, six, seven, or eight stages, there are endless Bible verses about grief to help you along the way if you believe.

I’ve been struggling with anxiety, PTSD, and depression through this journey. I am having a challenging time relating to those left behind.

I feel like I’m misunderstood and looked over. I feel judged and sometimes worthless.

All these different feelings and thoughts I struggle with have been overwhelming.

I work out, try to resume things I love to do (which I’m not sure I love to do anymore), like sing, eat healthily, get some sun, go to therapy (when I can afford to go), and journal. But I don’t feel whole.

I feel like I’m walking around with an open unhealed wound that won’t heal for anything in the world.

I can’t escape the sound of his last breath and the feeling I felt when the last seeping sound of his breath left his body. I felt the energy we shared as a union escape me.

Wanting comfort from somebody (an actual human) has only made the situation worst.

No one can deal with me in the condition that I’m in.

My grief journey has been challenging for my mental health. Some days I’m not well.

I’m alone. I have no problem with being alone. I like myself so that I can deal with it. But this alone is deafening. It’s just so painful.

The only word I can use to explain what I’m feeling deep down is pain. Unhealed pain.

Every day I’m hurting. Every day I’m ok, but I’m not. Every day I’m getting better and better than I was yesterday.

Before my husband passed, I mourned while he was alive. I wanted to be able to mourn him well when he died. I thought it wouldn’t hurt so bad!

A year prior, in 2019, my dad died, so sometimes I don’t recognize whom I’m grieving.

I’ve concluded I’m grieving my life—the one I used to have, the relationships I used to have. The good times I used to have.

I’m not just grieving him; I’m grieving me.

As painful as it might feel, grief is a necessary part of healing and helps us grow.

Will My Grief Ever Go Away?

People often say that time heals all wounds. It doesn’t heal them but allows us to learn from them.

Either we can learn from these lessons or ignore them and be challenged repeatedly until we understand them.

Grief teaches us to appreciate what we have and not to take it for granted.”

Grief is universal. At some point, everyone will have at least one encounter with suffering through grief and loss.

It may be from the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or any other change that alters life as you know it.

Grief is also very personal; it’s not very neat or linear. It doesn’t follow any timelines or schedules; you may cry, become angry, withdraw, or feel empty. None of these things are unusual or wrong.

Everyone grieves differently, but there are some commonalities in the stages and the order of feelings experienced during grief.

Moving on doesn’t mean you forget about things; you have to accept what happened and continue living.

This post is for me to process what has happened and where I am during my journey.

It is about mending my broken, pure heart and being overly sensitive.

It’s about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world.

It is about developing differently, at a different pace, and with other leaps.

I miss my husband, but I do not.

My Final Thoughts!

I can accept my husband’s death and still miss him.

I can get to a healthy place within my grief and still miss my husband.

I can love and be loved again by someone else and still miss my husband.

I can move forward and still love my husband.

I can live my new life and still miss my husband.

I can miss him and not miss him at the same time. 

I have peace that it is ok. And I have the freedom to continue on my healing journey.

stages of grief from loss
John & Jamie Clay Enjoying a night out!

I’ve learned that healing does not mean moving on after losing a loved one. Healing means learning to acknowledge and create space for your grief if you need to.

It is about learning to love the one you lost with the same depth, passion, joy, and commitment you did when you were alive with them, perhaps even more. It is good to honor the loss on your unique terms.

The idea of grief stages or timelines is good knowledge to help you grieve well and know when you may need to seek help to help you along your journey.

Grief is about making space for the transformation that a significant loss requires.

If you are up to it, I would love to hear from YOU in the comments section.

What have you learned, and how have you grown through the experience of losing someone you love?

If you have anything else to share?

Please leave me a comment below.

8 thoughts on “The Stages of Grief from Loss: I Miss My Husband, but I Don’t

  1. A really heartfelt and personal account here of your sad loss and how you are dealing with it. Looking at the stages of grief there is no one size fits all and they say time heals, but I am not sure that this is always the case. I think when you  lose someone close you never really get over it it just gets less painful to think about as time passes. All the best to you as you continue working through this difficult time. 

  2. Thank you for sharing your innermost feelings about losing your husband and missing him, but yet not missing the drama associated with his life. Grieving has so many different stages, but being unbelievably sad and wanting to cry at nothing, is how I feel. 

    After more than 38 years of marriage, I lost my husband just over two years ago. And although he is not dead, he has told me after more than 40 years together that he is no longer interested in growing old with me. So I have been grieving the death of my marriage, and losing my life partner and best friend. 

    Looking at the stages of grief, I have hit depression, with some days being better than others. But I know I have to move forward. All the best in your healing journey.

  3. Jamie,

    Thank you very much for this valuable and detailed post the stages of grief from loss. This is really a very important post. I lost lost my spouse too in 2004 and I know the emotions very well. The process of managing grief as outlined is indeed most helpful.

    My regards.

  4. No one is perfect, we all have flaws. Finding someone you can relate to is amazing. We were not created to be alone, companionship is amazing, it makes everything easier. Grief gets easier with time, hold on to the good memories. Uncomfortable situation make you a stronger wiser individual. Concentrate on the amazing moments and you will be blessed with more 

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