Friday, May 15, 2009

Thankful for Comfort, Thankful for Love

Going back over Leif's memorial services brought back so many sad memories but also brought a chance to look at the ceremonies again and really hear all the words and ponder them, think again about why we said them, about a more distilled view of who Leif was. Each day when I watched a video, I cried . . . and I smiled. I cried for our loss, for Leif's loss, for all the unhappy days of missing him. I smiled at the memories of his life, the people who cared about him, the years we shared together.

Last night Peter and I went to the German American Club May Dance. Peter was beaming, smiling and happy, the happiest I've seen him since before Leif died. It was so wonderful to see him like that, enjoying life, really having a great time, for the first time in 399 days. We've had moments, even hours, of happiness here and there since Leif died, but not this kind of joy, and I was happy basking in his smiles.

I know it's only a start, and that there will still be many hours and days of sadness. There is still much to face about Leif's life and death, and still a lifetime to miss him, but it's good to know that I can look forward to joy on Peter's face again, too.

It was so different than the New Year's dance we went to, the one at which this photo was taken. We were feeling so fragile, so vulnerable, so unready to face a new year without Leif and yet still wishing we could face it with hope. We danced, but there were tears in my eyes several times. We went outside into the night to look at the stars and talk about Leif. We closed our eyes and danced, holding our grief between us in our arms.

It's so important that we have each other for comfort. I can't even imagine how much harder it would be to live through this without Peter and the comfort of his love. The importance of our relationship to us makes me realize all the more how hard Leif's loneliness and need for the comfort of love was for him. I am thankful I have not had to live my life alone.

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