I think perhaps it's because of the election season. The last time around, before the actual nominating conventions, we had such lively discussions about the candidates and policies. He was writing email letters Hillary Clinton (as he had to General Wesley Clark in 2003). I probably miss him a lot right now because I know if he were here we'd be hearing a lot from him about the election and issues. It makes the hole in our lives so much more evident.
I know it's not my fault he isn't here, but I will always feel that I failed him, failed to help him, failed to keep him alive.
I look at this darling picture, taken by my sister, Sherie, in July 1976 when he was a year-and-a-half old, and he seems to happy, so carefree. I wish I had some scrap of hope that his adult life held any happiness for him.
I've thought a thousand times about why a death like Leif's, a suicide, is so very very hard, and I think that on top of the loss and grief we would have over the death of a child, our son, there are the dual burdens of knowing how unhappy he was and that we couldn't help him, that he died alone and uncomforted, cut off even from our love in that moment of death when he didn't reach out to anyone for help.
I can't have this beautiful little boy back. I can't have the handsome young man back. I can't even have the sad and depressed man back for a second chance to help make it right.