March 17. St. Patrick's Day.
It's been seven months since you've been gone, Padre. I'm wearing green in the form of your Green Bay Packers 1996 Super Bowl sweatshirt. I'm doing laundry and washing my sheets and just trying to have a relatively low key day.
Missing you comes in waves still. It usually peaks around now, the anniversary of the day you died while I am still only counting in months. The thought that soon it will turn into a year and then several years is mildly debilitating. To think that I will go on growing and experiencing and living a life that has gone on without you breaks my heart. To even think about the future and all of the major life milestones I will have to experience without you in them makes me weep. Even now, writing this, there are tears forming in my eyes.
The process of letting go is difficult. That's not even the right word for it. It's painful and crippling emotionally as well as physically sometimes. It's one of the hardest life lessons to learn, over and over again in life and it's always one of those things that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot make a roadmap for letting go. You can't make a detour to completely avoid the messy freeway construction of your emotions by taking the back roads, the easy way out.
The grief has to come first. You have to wade deep in the trenches of your emotions first. It always gets worse before it gets better, in the beginning when everything feels so raw and overwhelming. You have to hit rock bottom before you can start picking yourself back up again. Your emotions are going to do their best to knock you down over and over again. They are going to drown you. But you will survive.