First you count the seconds. You’re actually counting so you can try to calm yourself. You have to literally remember to breathe.
Then you count the minutes. Each minute hurts more, and you’re crumbling apart. Breathing hurts. You’d rather be with your child and not have to breathe at all without them.
You start counting the hours. You can’t believe it’s true. They are gone. It can’t be real. You keep breathing, but now take huge gasps when you forget to breathe.
You’re now counting days. You’re wondering how many more days you have to live this way. The gasps of air still creep in and out…a lot. Breathing is hard work and consists of almost every other breath being a huge sigh.
Then you count the weeks. You can’t believe how fast the weeks go by. Reality sets in. You must learn to live without a piece of your heart, but how? You want to stop breathing.
Counting months is exhausting. The more months that go by, the further away from them you feel. It’s been too long since you kissed their forehead or heard their voice. Breathing is becoming part of your involuntary body mechanics, until you cry. When you cry breathing becomes impossible until you let out a loud belt of heartwrenching pain from your lungs, which are connected to your heart. You begin to realize how these body parts truly work together.
Years. Years. You have to say it twice, because it’s nearly unbelievable. It still feels like seconds at times. You aren’t sure whether you are closer to your child, or further away. You hope you are closer. You don’t have to think about breathing, but sometimes, out of the blue, something hits you and the gasp of air comes back. You try to avoid these moments. You try to avoid thinking of the worst moments, but your mind doesn’t always cooperate. You become afraid you’ll forget things about them, such as their voice or their favorite food, or special moments. Anger comes in strong. Yearning for your child for years is draining, but you must go on.
I tell myself I will be with him again, and that every second, minute, hour, month, and year has been worth being able to have him for 7 years, rather than never at all