I wrote this July 22, 2010 but procrastinated posting it until now...
It goes without saying that today is an emotional day. In a way, I relive the shock of Gunnar's death. Grief memories and gratitude intertwine and overlap. With that in mind, I wrote this letter to Gunnar.
Dear Gunnar, I miss you son. Such a huge part of my world is gone. As I sit and write, I cry and smile at the same time. I cry because missing you hurts. the grief is understandably fresh, so I cut myself some slack. I hear your reasuring voice, "It's OK Mom, you'll be alright." I smile as I remember all the laughter we shared. I love our time sitting on the couch watching "B" science fiction movies, making fun of the dialogue and the meager special effects that accompany such endeavors. I never minded you coming home late at night and stopping by my door and saying, "Mom, guess what happened." It seems your best thoughts came to you between the hours of 12:00AM and 1:30AM. The list is endless, son.
Your friends have shared many stories about you with me this past year. I have listened with a heart full of satisfaction.
I am reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's words,
" Nothing will fill the gap when we are away from those we love, and it would be wrong to try and find anything. We must simply hold out and win through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, since leaving the gap unfilled preserves the bond between us. It is nonsense to say the God fills the gap: He does not fill it, but keeps it empty so that our communion with another may be kept alive, even at the cost of pain."