Counting by Halves

There are two times in life when we count by halves. One is when we’re under the age of ten, and we’re half way between one birthday and the next. We’re still young enough for it to feel as though a year stretches on forever. So making it a whole six months more is worthy of being marked and counted. “I’m six and a half!” says my friend’s daughter with great pride. I’m excited for my friend’s daughter, because I remember.

The other time when we count by halves is after a loved one has died. Time slows back down to a crawl, as the days stretch on into weeks, and then into months. It feels as though that first year’s end will never come as we march through each holiday, birthday, celebration and sadness–each for the first time without that parent, child, friend, or loved one being there to share it. My friend who recently died, left a twenty year old daughter to begin her counting by halves again. “It’s been two and a half months since my mother died,” she cries to me. I cry with my friend’s daughter, because I remember.

4 thoughts on “Counting by Halves”

    1. Merin, instead of counting by wholes, as most people do when marking time, such as one month, 1 year, etc., someone going through the pain of mourning counts by halves– 1/2 a month, 1 1/2 months, 1/2 a year, 1 1/2 years, and so on.

  1. This post connected with a place in my heart that had not been so deeply touched in a long time. There is something very raw about a loss of a very close family member when you are in your twenties. You find youself old enough to feel the full weight of the loss yet you do not have the intimate softening of the blow from a loving spouse. Peace to you and your friend’s daughter as the tears ebb and flow in the up coming months and half months.


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