It took 23 days for me to breakdown and call his phone just so I could hear his voice again. In the last 23 days I have greedily consumed every text, video, photo, and journal entry I could find in the desperate attempt to feel him close to me. I’ve begged  my bonus daughter, his mini-me, to come over because she reminds me of him.  Because our shared grief and love for him make me feel less alone.

It’s overwhelming how unprepared I was for how painful this would be. It hurts so much I sometimes can’t breathe. And it seems so completely wrong that universe exists without him.

Throughout his battle with cancer we focused on staying positive and proclaimed “Live Now” as our motto.  We crossed items off our bucket list. We spent time making memories with family and friends.  We knew that, despite the horror in front of us, we were blessed with the knowledge that the clock was ticking and had the opportunity to choose how each minute was spent.

Now he is gone.  And each day that I wake up still breathing, I am faced with a battle.  The fight to figure out how to “Live Now” with the raw wound that consumes me.  Until I find my way out, I’ll just call his voicemail to say, “I love you.”

The last phone call with his bonus son. Eight days later he was gone.