July 11th is Always a Hard Day
Shawn Jr died two years ago today. That means 730 days have gone by since we watched Shawn Jr take his last breath. Sometimes it still feels like yesterday. Shawn’s death is now the milestone that we use for everything in our family. When we are talking about events, we always reference if the event was before or after Shawn Jr died.
This weekend our family is in Los Angeles at the wedding of Bryan Knostman, one of Shawn Jr’s very best friends. Josh is standing in for Shawn Jr as a groomsman. Almost of all of Shawn Jr’s best friends are here. It’s hard to see this group of people together without him. He would have loved to be here with this crew celebrating Bryan getting married to Jess. It is such a bitter sweet moment.
Watching Shawn’s friends hit major life milestones is a difficult reminder that he is not here and had so much life ahead of him. His friends are graduating college, getting married, starting their first jobs and having children. Shawn never got the chance to do any of these things. All these wonderful life milestones are a joy to celebrate but are slightly tainted. Each announcement that we hear about has an overlay of sadness for our family.
I feel like I am still processing Shawn’s death. I think that will always be the case. Sometimes I feel like I have successfully compartmentalized it so I can live life without constant pain. But, the pain never goes away and it seems to come back hard at unexpected times. It randomly comes back when I am watching Friends, eating certain foods, watching a game or seeing a car that looks like Shawn’s black Camaro. It sneaks up on me just like I am sure does for other people that loved Shawn. But, on this day, July 11th, it did not sneak up on me. July 11th will always be a hard day.