There should be a better word for the times between, times like almost in love, nearly retired, or soon to be a parent.
Or, the time after loss, such as when someone’s house is demolished by a tornado. We’ve got some words: shock, grief, sadness, bravery, determination but not much describes a continuum of not-there-ness that startles emotions unawares.
I didn’t lose a house but I wonder how it feels to reach for your radio dial and realize you don’t have a radio anymore or take a step to check the mailbox before it occurs to you the mailbox is not there.
It’s a gone-ness. It must hurt, not just once, not all at once, but often.