I’ve been folding your clothes and placing them neatly in your dresser drawers. Every few days, I open your side of the medicine cabinet and smell your cologne. The one I was so excited to get you because it was “all natural.” You had laughed and hugged me tight.

We cleaned your garage and put beer in your fridge. Dave’s been doing little projects out there with the girls. I cleaned the kitchen and pretended it was you out there. Just like a normal weeknight.

The school room is done. I know you’d be so happy with it. It looks just like you had wanted it to.

Everyone came over last weekend and helped put the garden and the trees to bed for the winter. They could not stop talking about what a beautiful home and yard you created and kept. We have the best friends and family.

I moved Scarlett’s bed into our room and Rain sleeps with me. I know you’d smile at that. “They’re so attached to us,” you’d say. Each of them wakes up crying for you in the middle of the night. I too, wake often. I check the house, the backyard. The darkness of night amplifies the loss.

Where are you? It feels like you’ve gone fishing and we are just awaiting your overdue return.

I’ve said you’ve died a hundred times and it still isn’t real. Each day is like a new mountain to climb, and I don’t even think we’ve had a chance to grieve the loss of you.

You’ve left us with a real mess, my love. I wish you could come back, even if it’s just for a while.

But then I remember all the reasons why you couldn’t stay. You would say, “this is why” and “that is why.” And then I understand, and I want to tell you that I’ve got this. I’ll carry us through.