Anyone who has lost someone they deeply love can tell you that certain days are harder than others. Sometimes it's a day with a special significance due to a personal event, but it's always holidays like Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving and the loved one's birthday and death day that bring an especially poignant and painful sense of loss.
If find that the days leading up to those days are often harder for me than the actual day itself. I suppose it has to do with anticipating the day and how much I'll miss him. Christmas and Thanksgiving can be made better by time with family, busy time full of the things we do on holidays to keep my from thinking as much about Leif and missing him. Of course, he isn't gone from my mind, but the less time there is to be sad and reminisce, the better, at least for the celebrations.
It's much harder on Mother's Day or Father's Day, dates when we focus on parenthood and our children, and it's acutely clear that Leif isn't there, especially since he WAS with us from every one of them except while he was in the army for three years, plus there aren't any busy celebrations to be a distraction. We can, however, try to focus on Peter Anthony and be grateful for him and our continuing relationship with him, and all the years we have shared.
But Leif's birthday and death day have no other celebration, no other focus, and are impossible to ignore or forget, and I am finding it hard to anticipate his birthday on January 28th, wondering what I will say, what I will do, what he would have been like at thirty-six. I'm sure it will be so every year I live.
This photo of Leif was taken in Charlottesville, Virginia in the spring of 1977 when he was two years old.