He would be seven

It is impossible to imagine what he would be like today. Whenever I try, I just picture Mo but a little bit bigger. I imagine that he'd be sweet because he was sweet. I imagine that he'd be easy because he was easy. But I'll never know. That thought alone - that I'll never know - makes me feel sick. When I think about not knowing him, this person who I felt I'd known better than anyone, I feel sick.

When our rabbi friend came to the hospital to help us say goodbye to Maxie, I asked him how long it would take before I could incorporate this loss into my life. I literally meant - when will this not feel like I am living in a nightmare anymore? He said, based on his experience suddenly and unexpectedly losing his wife, "seven years".

Seven years. SEVEN YEARS. At that time, I could not imagine seven years. I couldn't imagine how I would get through the next seven minutes. And life remained that way for a LONG time - not knowing how I would get through the remaining hours of the day. Sometimes I would try to imagine how I would get through a whole life (because it felt impossible) - but trying to imagine that was too huge. It still is. I could only focus on the time that was directly in front of me.

It still has not been seven years. It's been 6 years and change. And I know there has been an enormous shift - no matter how slow and gradual its been. (SO SLOW & SO GRADUAL). I think this is the first year that I feel like I can say that I am happy most of the time. I am not in a state of panic about the health and safety of my living children all of the time. I don't feel as though I am living in a nightmare. I don't. But I miss him as much, or more, than ever. The sadness I feel at having lost him is more real all of the time. And though I don't live in a nightmare - most days are actually happy and full of things to feel joyful about - I am definitely living a different reality than most people I know.

I would give anything for a glimpse at what life would have been like with my seven year old Max. I still believe he is waiting for me. I hope he knows that I am patiently waiting for him.