Forget Kübler-Ross. She is sooo 40 years ago.
Bad Grammar. That phase where you constantly blend your verbs, mixing the present and past tense in close proximity, as in “Mom wanted us to go together... Mom always pays him on the first...”
Idiosyncratic Awareness. When you become painfully self conscious of all the sayings you and others use involving death until it becomes dangerous to have any conversation. “I'm starving to death!” “I looked like death warmed over!” “This is gonna kill you!” Etc.
Non Sequitur Confluence of Sadness. For example, one minute you are dragging around the Acme in your hometown looking through their pathetic excuse for produce, the next you tune into the music playing over the PA system. Hey! Is that the Hooters?? And though either would qualify for a spring board into deep depression, you aren't sure if you are crying about the state of the cucumbers or the crappy 80s band that played at your high school before they made it “big.”
Contained Maternal Rage and Breakdown. The day you decide to play the audio tape your mom made for your son when he was born that includes stories of when she was little, her singing rainy day songs for him, and her talking about how after she's gone she thinks she will still be able to watch over him and he gets almost to the end before he says, “Can we turn this off? It's giving me a headache.”
Concession to Outreach. When a book arrives in the mail – poems about grief and healing – and you are deflated and incredulous because you thought this friend knew better than to send this kind of shit. But then despite yourself you open to the table of contents where many familiar, contemporary names pop out at you and instead of setting it on fire, you set it on your nightstand.
ABD. (All but dead.) The strong desire to call your deceased loved one to tell her about her own death (“Mom, you'll never guess what happened!)” accompanied by the rational acceptance of all the circumstances leading up to and following from the death of the loved one except for the fact that she will still not be here tomorrow. Or the day after tomorrow. Or the next day after that. Or the next.