Tuesday, May 6, 2008
The Last Touch - The Last Goodbye
I don't think there is ever really a last goodbye. We all keep Leif in our memories, and there will never be a goodbye that is final, but this photo was the last time I could touch his urn. I know he wasn't there, just his ashes, but it's all we had left of the physical presence of our son.
I don't want to post photos of the military honors service or the memorial service because I don't post photos of other people without their permission, and grief is very personal. I also don't want this blog to be just about Leif's death and last services, but about the life he had and our memories of him, but it's impossible not to acknowledge that there was a day of services to honor his passing.
On April 29, 2008, Leif was inurned at the Bay Pines National Cemetery with full military honors, and a memorial service was held at the St. Petersburg Unitarian Universalist Church.
One photo is of me touching his urn before they sealed the niche at the cemetery.
The other is the table at the front of the church where his memorial service was held. The beautiful leis and ti leaves were sent by dear friends in Hawaii. The composite of photos of his life was made by Leif's sister-in-law, Darlene. The stand to hold the photo was made by his friend, Michael. The infantryman plaque was made by his father, and the triangle-folded flag is the one given to me at the military ceremony. We have it in a beautiful flag case sent to us by his friend Melissa, and we will add his military insignia and awards to it. The wooden box used as his urn was decorated with military insignia by his father. If he has a photo of it that doesn't include any person, I will post it later.
The circle stand on the table is the Unitarian Universalist flaming chalice, which is lighted at the beginning of services and extinguished at the end.
We are grateful to our family and friends, Leif's friends, and our wonderful neighbors for their help, love and support through these hard times.