The Ugly Stage of Grief

Steffany Ritchie
6 min readSep 5, 2022

No, I didn’t get healed yet Van Morrison

Photo by Keenan Constance:

I was listening to a Whitney Cummings podcast a while ago where she was talking about the death of her parents or one of her parents, and she said a friend said something to her at the time that helped her: she told her not to even try to talk to anyone who hasn’t lost a parent in the next year/first year after their death.

It sounds dramatic, and is not always doable in reality, but I get it now. I remember it stuck with me for some reason. I have had friends lose their parents. Some of my friends when I was at school lost a parent very young, I had three close friends lose their mom at around the same age. I was always aware of the idea of the impact grief can have on life.

But it really is something you don’t understand until it happens to you. I read this EXCELLENT piece about the profound loneliness and abandonment feelings of grief by Victoria Peel-Yates here this week.

And it just nailed everything I am going through after the death of my dad. Just being a walking ball of emotions, and feeling like I have to keep it all in. I let it all out, to some extent, for the first few weeks. But it seems endless still. I didn’t know I cared so much, and it is killing me that I feel like I have nowhere to put this or heal or find closure. I don’t know how to do that in my situation.

After such a long estrangement from my Dad, my feelings had become numb. Occasionally I would be sad or mad but the truth is in some ways I had already buried him in my mind. But a psychological burying is far, far different from actual grief.

Do I go to a shaman? A medium? I found myself watching Tyler Henry videos on Youtube one night recently, me, a person who thinks most psychic/medium people are hucksters. It’s not that I don’t want to believe, I desperately do, but I also have this inbuilt bullshit radar.

But for some weird reason I became entranced by the golden-haired child-man, he seems so innocent and yes he is reading celebrities for money but idk man. I am desperate. I was in America at the same time he had a NY tour date and I legitimately considered it. I want to know that my dad is ok and in a better place and doesn’t hate me. I hate that I feel nothing in respect to his spirit being gone. Like I have…



Steffany Ritchie

Hi, I write memoir, essays, music, and pop culture. American in Scotland. Accepting coffees if you enjoy my stuff :-)