#3 has recently lost his Bubba, and at this time, is going through an extended period of recovery. I can sympathize with him, but cannot empathize, because I have not lost a sibling as of yet.
However, I did wonder how long he would be in this painful interim of existence. Or how long it might be when he would no longer have that stabbing, tortuous thought process of realizing he would no longer be able to talk to his Bubba, as he often did, every Sunday for the last year. Actually, Bubba did most of the talking. Anyway, I then began to think about other estimated times of recovery. They say that the estimated time of recovery for having a facelift (http://faceforum.com/) is usually about two weeks. And the ETR for a stroke (http://essortment.com/all/strokerecovery) goes on in phases, and could possibly take weeks to years. This has certainly been true for my Daddy. Wonder how you estimate time of recovery on other things like the loss of a pet or surviving the loss or infidelity of a spouse or getting through the insurmountable death of a child? Gosh, I could go on and on and on...but, I won't.
Some of these things I have suffered through, others I have not, and some I hope I never will. But, a few things I do know for sure...Life's hard...so, HANDLE WITH CARE. And it's not the length of these persistent ERTs that matters, rather it's your perseverance during these hard times (and there will be many) that counts.