My 84-year-old dad fell and broke the C-1 and C-2 vertebrae in his neck two days after Christmas the year before last, which should have killed him but didn't.Wayne and I had moved up north from Tennessee and into my parent's home in central Pennsylvania by that point, so I was able to devote myself to tending to my father during the three months he needed it.
Maybe I'll even stop being so afraid so much of the time. They more akin to spectacularly difficult hikes and I'm a hiker.
I told myself it didn't matter that the hard times were so much more common than the easy, that the happy times were so much more rare than the unhappy. I needed a dream to pursue — something so big and concrete and immediate that it would distract me from the way my heart had been splintered into shards so sharp and unrecognizable that sometimes it hurt to draw breath. But I've long had a vague obsession with the pursuit, which seems to me about the grandest possible.
I decided I was going to scale two of the world's Seven Summits, as the tallest peaks on each continent are collectively called. There is a mad, desperate beauty to the act of dragging your body up an unforgiving and ridiculously steep incline of rock and ice, miles into the frozen, almost oxygen-less air, for the sole purpose of stroking the sky.
On the other hand, you might need less time if your relationship was very short.
More important than the specific amount of time you need, though, is the state of mind you're in.