It is not lost on me that I have yet to publish a blog detailing May 22nd, 2017. That became a harder task than I had anticipated. I couldn’t bring myself to do it on the anniversary a few weeks ago like I had planned. Instead, I spent the day moving in slow motion, actively trying not to break down with each breath, knowing that if I let myself go there, there was no coming back. To top it off, it was a gray, rainy day. The skies were as miserable as my heart. Towards the end of the day, in an act that may seem very strange, or impossible, to some, I had a shift and I surrounded myself with as much of my dad as I could. I listened to his voicemails on repeat. I watched videos of him. I took in his voice and his memory. I needed to feel close to him. The days after that provided me the breath of fresh air I had been looking for. I did it. I made it through a year. I thought I crossed a fictional finish line and that it would be smooth sailing from there. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out I was dead wrong. That false sense of security faded and the pain began to creep back in. I’ve put a lot of stress on myself since that time. I sit here with ideas swirling around in my head of the posts that I can’t wait to bring to you, the readers, but I have inserted a giant STOP sign in between myself and that work. I’ve been telling myself I can not move forward until I complete the sequence I started with a post of my father’s final day. This type of pressure on myself has been a constant over the last year. And it’s time I tell it to back the hell off. So instead of doing what my head is telling me I HAVE to do, I’m going to do what I CAN do right now, and that is to share a quote by Nigerian poet, Ijeoma Umebinyuo: “Three Routes to Healing” 1) You must let the pain visit. 2) You must allow it to teach you. 3) You must not allow it to overstay.