It’s been 3 years since my dad unexpectedly passed away. 3 years since I started counting new years on the 3rd of march instead of the 31st of December.

And so much has happened. I’ve had 2 new kids, lived in 3 countries, started moving around with no fixed domicile, changed jobs, started and finished things, there was a social uprising in chile that makes sense today but was totally unexpected before his passing, and we’re still living the worst pandemic in a hundred years, which, apart from killing millions of people, is taking our collective insanity to the extreme. Now there’s a stupid war in Europe, started by a sociopath with too much power.

So much has happened, so many life-changing events. The world my dad left is so different than our current world. Or is it? Maybe it feels specially different to me. After all, what hurts is not the past, those memories will be forever treasured, what hurts is the memories that we stopped making together. It pains me to think he never got to meet his two younger grandchildren, to think he never got to move to the family rural house like he always wanted to (which we partially achieved), to think he’s not one click away to answer stupid questions (like if and how much you should tip people at an all inclusive).

Like the late Joan Didion wrote: pain comes in waves. In the beginning, it’s almost unbearable; now, it’s ok, time helps with the pain.

I remember getting my mom’s call on WhatsApp. An infinite weight traveled thousands of kilometers at the speed of light to wound my soul forever. The bike trip back home, on the streets of Mexico City, is just a blur of tears now. I couldn’t stop crying, even screaming. It must’ve been quite the sight, a grown man crying like that, biking along his crying pregnant wife and child. And I still get sad, sometimes it comes down so hard I feel like crying and screaming like that first day, but most of the time is just nostalgia and pain for the things he’s been missing.

Life goes on, we keep walking in the forest, facing forward.

Happy new year, dad!

PS: Yes, this year’s New Year letter came to me in English, not Spanish. 🤷🏻‍♂️