1. Having to go through his email to find a receipt for a water filter he bought that you have no idea the details. Opening said account and seeing all the unread emails. Business as usual. Business he’ll never see.
2. Getting his W-2 in the mail. A work year he didn’t finish.
3. Planning your son’s 7th birthday party and realizing it will be the first one without your partner. You remember the 1st birthday party and the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th and 6th and think about the naive, innocent you back then who never dreamed your partner would never make it to 7th.
4. Alone at night. Kids asleep. Dogs mulling around. You. Always alone but not alone.
5. Watching your almost-two-year-old kissing his “Da Da’s” picture good night every day.
6. Walking past his picture, pausing to look at it, and feeling the sadness right in the gut. You ask yourself “is this real life? A dream?” and then you continue on with your day, because that’s the only thing you can do.