My Dad, who I affectionately refer to as Moncho, died when I was 25. He was with us for my first 25 years of life, and then he wasn't. It's been 13 years now, and I still miss him terribly.
But even though he's physically gone from this world, his presence still lingers in so many ways. Because of his life, I've learned so much—and because of his death, I've learned even more.
Two things stand out to me about how my Dad taught me to live: honesty and integrity. He modeled it for me - despite everything he had been through in his years, despite all the challenges we faced as a family while growing up. But because of his life and his teachings, I've learned so much about myself—and about what it means to live life fully and honestly. He lived like this until his last day—and that's what made him so special in my eyes: a man who spent every moment doing exactly what HE wanted.
I've been thinking about him a lot lately, and I wanted to write about it. I've been thinking about what he has missed because A LOT has happened in the past 13 years. But despite all the things he missed out on seeing (at least physically), there are so many things that he did see: most of my graduations (with exception of my masters - he died two months prior. kudos to my friend who helped me through that.), being in a career that I'm passionate about (still am), and I will always cherish the lovely memories we shared during baseball seasons.
My Dad, Moncho, unfortunately, suffered from a disease that so many suffer from - addiction. His last year of life filled me up with so much love! He was sober! He wanted to make my graduation. Sadly, he never made it. Addiction is a disease! Blame only turns into bitterness. Forgiveness is freedom!
I love and honor the life he lived because he was simply, My Moncho!
When it comes to grief:
We are all in this together!
We can learn from each other!
We can help each other!
We can be there for each other!
We can support each other!
With lots of love,
“My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” -Clarence Budington Kelland
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