Is it farther or further?
late 14c., from Old French absence (14c.), from Latin absentia, noun of state from absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + esse "to be" (see essence).
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
[Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839) "Isle of Beauty"]
absence ab·sence (āb'səns)
See petit mal.