My friends who have been here have said it will be a year before I’m back on my feet again and these waves of emotion; pain, fear, sorrow will ebb. Some sources say six months. Some places say I will need six months for every year I gave you to fully recover. Eleven years. I will be 55. You will be 56.
I’m not sure when I should begin counting. Was it November when you said the words for the first time? December when you broke my heart into pieces the day after Christmas? January when I realized I had no choice but to let you do what you needed and I watched you drive away in the dark? March? I want to know where to start my countdown from. I want to circle the day in red on my calendar. I want to look forward to something. Do I count the number of days and then divide by two? Or three? Of four?
Do you have a day circled in red? Will you ache for a year? Will it take you eleven years to find your footing without me? Do you ache at all? It’s an answer I both yearn for and fear. What if I’m feeling all this alone?
There are a million hard parts. Every day reveals a new one. I cried when I realized you were done barbecuing here. I cried when I realized I wouldn’t wake up to the smell of wood smoke drifting up from the porch. I cried when I realized I wouldn’t bury my head in your chest and you’d smell like cologne and smoke, my favorite scent.
You are 47 days, two hours and a handful of minutes gone. It’s been 50 days since you rested your head on my chest after I got out of the shower and I stroked your back and thought that everything would be okay and it is 50 days since you told me you had to go. It’s been 48 days since our last dinner as a family that lives under the same roof. It’s been 48 days since I kissed the top of your head and wished you happy trails. It’s been 123 days since you first told me we should separate. It’s been six days since I’ve seen you or touched you or heard your voice.
Which number is X?