Monday, August 3, 2009
What would he think of this?
Last night after I went to bed and wasn't falling asleep, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder what Leif would think of this blog. Of course, I wouldn't be doing this if he were alive, so he would never be confronted with it in that way, but if he were to know about it somehow, after death, what would he think of it?
Would he be surprised? Touched? Pleased? Would he appreciate my memories and monument to him? Would he be glad to see so many people visiting the blog and reading about him and us?
Or would he be upset that his life was set before the world in detail for anyone to read?
Would he think I was an obsessed mother who couldn't let go of her son? Or would he see me as a loving mother who wants to keep his memory alive?
Would he wish he could tell me more, so that the picture of him would be more accurate and well-rounded? Or would he wish to keep things private?
I try not to post things that would be hurtful or embarrassing to others, or even to Leif, were he able to read them, but I wonder whether he would agree with my judgement.
I also wonder how I, a person who never wanted a gun in my house and who drank alcohol sparingly, managed to raise a son so deeply interested in and devoted to guns and beer, and though he never "converted" me to his beliefs, he taught me a great deal about them.
It is in the nature of death, especially a sudden death, that those left behind are destined to find out a lot of things about their deceased loved one they may not have known, or known fully, before. And that there will also always be many mysteries for which there will never be answers. The blog allows me to explore both sides of Leif's life and death.
For me, just knowing I have posted something is important, and I regret each day that I miss. I never knew when I started this on April 10, 2008 that I would still be writing it sixteen months later, would still have more to say, would find it so meaningful and necessary to my day.
As I was driving home tonight I was thinking about this again, thinking how when Leif was alive I spent so much time with him and helping him with problems in his life, and now I am still spending time, only I don't get to spend it WITH him or to help him any longer.
Yet he does not seem distant, not yet. Peter W. said the other day that it doesn't seem real that Leif is dead, that it seems like we should still be able to just meet him in Tampa for dinner or stop by his apartment. Intellectually we know we can't, but emotionally, it seems as though he should still be there. I know just what he means.
Probably the blog helps us keep that kind of feeling, for we see his pictures daily, and I write about him. The memories are refreshed, new again, savored. I am thankful for ever one of them.
This photo of Leif was taken sometime in 1989. I'm not sure where, perhaps on a playground at Fort Sheridan, though I don;t remember one like this there. It's one that captures his vulnerable side, as few do. I don't know who took the photo. It was in his album and must have been taken with his camera by someone else in the family, most likely me . . . and yet I don't remember ever having seen this photo until I acquired Leif's albums after his death. He was fourteen years old.