Thursday, April 10, 2014

It Means a Lot!

Today we received a card from my sister, Sherie. It means so much to me that she is thinking of us, and that she remembers this day, this week, and knows how much we miss our son.

Six years ago today we got up at 7:30 a.m. and got ready to go to Tampa to Leif's apartment to try to find out what had happened to him. It was with a mixture of hope, dread and fear that we left home. The best I could hope for was that he either was at home feeling ill or too depressed to communicate, but it seemed unlikely. We both knew that if we got to his apartment complex and both his vehicles were there, it most likely meant he was at home . . . but in what state?

They were both there. His door was locked and there was no response. We went to the manager's office, explained the situation, and asked if they could let us in. I'm grateful that the woman we talked to was sympathetic and willing to do so, and that she respectfully waited outside after she unlocked the door.

That was the saddest and most horrible day of my life, of our lives, and I hope there will never be another even close to it.

Peter said today that at least today we didn't find anything gruesome or horrifying. Yes. It was a beautiful day, full of ordinary work, with the anticipation of seeing Marcus and Darlene tomorrow.

Leif was and is on our minds. He always will be. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives.

Thank you to my sisters for remembering these days and remembering Leif.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Six Years Ago Today

Six years ago today, our beloved son Leif died. On this day, April 9th, we did not yet know he had taken his life. We were trying to get in touch with him, trying not to worry that we were getting no response, trying not to think the worst. We were more worried than usual (after all, he didn't always answer his phone or text messages) because his supervisor had called us as the emergency contacts because Leif hadn't shown up for work.

We should have gone right then to find him, though it wouldn't have helped him any. We would have just known a day sooner, just had one less day of hoping he was all right, and one less day of trying to find out without embarrassing him by showing up.

We will never know exactly what time he died, but probably sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. the morning of April 9, 2008. We can place it at that point because his friend Michael was with him until about 2:30 a.m. He was emailing several of us earlier that evening. And, he didn't show up for work the next morning. We'll never know whether he never went to bed, or did so briefly and got up for work and decided to end it all instead.

The days leading up the the anniversary of his death are always hard for me. Remembering his death, finding his body, those are hard memories.

The years seem to fly by, six already, but it doesn't seem like six years since we heard his voice, his laugh, talked with him. He's still such a part of our lives.

I think few people remember the date. I don't think that's unusual. How many people's death dates do you remember? I remember three very clearly, and probably because they were all people close to me, and I was either with them when they died, or found them, as we did Leif. So, I don't expect people to say anything to us about this sad anniversary. Even if they remember, people probably worry about saying anything, making us feel sad . . . because the tears do come. But I would far rather have them remember that he lived, and died, than not remember or mention him at all.

I was touched deeply again this year, when my sister Lannay and her husband Doug again sent us a  beautiful bouquet of flowers, a card, and an ecard. Lannay always remembers. It means a lot that she remembers the day, that she remembers Leif, that she loves him.

Today's date is not on Leif's death certificate. It says "April 10 found." There's not even a statement of when he might have died. We pieced together as much as we will ever know.

The flower are beautiful. I appreciate them so much.

I will never stop wanting him back.