Today marks eight years since my dad died.
Every since, this time of year is difficult. Something akin to Seasonal Affective Disorder but not. Is Death Anniversary Affective Disorder a thing? Maybe PDDSD/post-dad-dying stress disorder? I don't know. I just know that I don't sleep very well, develop a very blahsy case of the blahs, and really, REALLY don't feel like talking about it, at all, with anybody, thank you very much.
But this year I DID sack up and talk about it to my therapist, and not just in a dismissive, hand-wavy "oh, I'll seriously feel fine by April 1, nothing to worry about" way, but in a solution-focused "I need March to not suck so hard every year forever" kind of way.
She advised me to find a way to untangle the Bad and the Sad and the Everything Else from today, and instead mark the day with something linked to the good and happy memories. She asked me to name one.
Books. I remember his books. Hundreds and hundred of books, lining the hallways, his study, the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in the living room. My own bookcase, packed to overflowing, because he would never, ever say no to buying me a new book.
And so we decided to create a new family tradition in his honor.
It's what Pop Pop would've done for you, if he were still here.