Today marks 14 weeks since Kevin died. 14 weeks is both a long time and nothing.
A 14 week old fetus is about the size of a nectarine.
At 14 weeks I am beginning to really understand that he is gone. The pain is a deep, grinding thing. It's no longer constant razor blades, but it's more endemic, more inescapable. The illusions are thinner now. In some ways, I am sadder now than I was 6 or 10 weeks ago. I have begun to drift towards the middle of our bed. I wake up and move back over, wanting to leave room for him.
14 weeks into a college term, everyone is panicked about finals. 14 weeks into elementary school the kids are dreaming of their December break. It's cold enough they need to wear coats outside at recess.
At 14 weeks I find I am more able to function, though I am still utterly exhausted. I am cooking occasionally. I spend time with friends. I'm thinking about work again. I still get tired easily and have very little tolerance for crowds or even long conversations. I am still deeply internal. I am still in some amount of stasis, though I know holding still won't bring him back.
14 weeks into a new job you are starting to get your bearings, but you still worry that you'll offend your new work friends or forget some vital piece of HR knowledge.
14 weeks into grief, I still cry almost every day. I might skip a day here or there, but no longer than that. I still feel the lack of him every night and in every decision. I rarely laugh. I don't want to be forced into it, I'm not ready yet. Funny how crying and laughing use most of the same muscles.
14 weeks is just over a quarter of year. It's a fraction of a lifetime. It seems like such a long time. It seems like such a short time.
I'm beginning to get hints from a few friends that I should decide to feel better. Decide to have a good time. Decide to move on. Grief doesn't work like that. Time is a liar when you're mourning the love of your life. It's hard to understand both how little time and how long it has been if you haven't gone through something like this. It may even be hard to remember what it was life, if it was long enough ago.
Time has always been an elastic and confusing thing; when we're happy it moves so quickly and when we're sad or bored it becomes interminable. Our perception of time turns us into liars and the lost.
I can't believe it's been 14 weeks since I last kissed him, it doesn't feel that long. I can't believe it's been only 14 weeks since I kissed him.
I think the Victorians had it right, that it takes a good long year to be ready to be in the world again. Or maybe it doesn't. I won't know until I know. And until then, please remember that your measure of time and mine are very different right now. I am living without. Are you? If not, then please be patient and wait for me to measure my life in minutes again, instead of breaths, absence and growing distance from the one I love.