It won’t hit you right away. No, it takes its time, slowing forming throughout your entire being, curling itself around your every cell until one day you feel it, all at once, crashing over you in waves of nostalgia and crippling fear. You miss them. You’ve missed them all long, surely, but you’re just now realizing it, and it’s numbing.
It will ebb and flow. You’ll have days where you barely think of them; you’ll barely hear their laugh, barely feel their absence. These will be the best days — the days where you can almost convince yourself life is continuing on in a similar fashion to how it did when they were here. Days like these, you’ll almost feel as if you can call them up on the telephone and ask how their day is going. Almost.
You get used to avoiding topics that will bring around the numbness. You avoid their favorite songs, favorite places, and favorite foods. Anything that reminds you of them, you cut out of your lifestyle as though it is some relic you are preserving in their eternal shrine. These are the little pieces of themselves they have left behind, and like a crack on the sidewalk, you step around them, for the fear of breaking your own back.
Good days do not continue uninterrupted, however. You cannot avoid these fragments forever, and when you run into them, you’ll be left clutching onto whatever small shred of happiness you have and hoping that’s enough to chase away the memory of them. Sometimes it will be, sometimes it won’t be.
On the days that it is not, you’ll float around in an envelope of grief, not caring what happens. You’ll shut yourself down, disappearing from the world much like they did, only a lot less permanent. You’ll find yourself pulling up their old messages, their photos, and you can almost feel yourself caving.
You’ll not only miss the memories you do have, the person you did know, but you will also miss the memories you could have had, the person they would have become. You’ll miss the uncertainty of having them here, the wide-open future of them. We never miss the future until it’s taken away.
You find yourself wondering what you’d say to them if you only had one more conversation. You build these grandiose monologues in your mind, where you tell them how much you love them, how much they built you into the human being you are today, and how beautiful it was to have known them. The truth is, though, despite all these beautiful things you could say, you know you’d be fully satisfied with just a simple hello.
These days pass but you’ll be shaken for a while, remembering what it’s like to have your whole being cold and blasé, numb to the world but fully alive in your pain.
Missing someone is not an equation easily solved. It is only the blindest of faiths that we still maintain the hope that they could one day walk back through the door, as though they never left, as though you never felt that sadness at all. I keep waiting for this to end, but it hasn’t, and it may never end.
I haven’t decided which is worse—believing someone may very well return, or knowing for certain that they are gone, forever.