His memorial was filled with friends and family who were just as broken-hearted, many of whom had flown cross-country on a few hours’ notice to say goodbye. We spent the evening swapping hilarious Leif stories, hugging one another and openly weeping. Love was everywhere.
During the course of his illness, I and others close to him experienced a host of sympathetic, stress-induced symptoms. Back spasms, sciatic pain, the onset of MS. Medical treatment could only take us so far. The body and mind have their own methods and timeline for processing trauma, physical and emotional.
In my bodywork practice, I call myself a creative problem-solver. The truth is, a lot of problems can’t be solved. While going through Leif’s illness and passing, I’ve shared the pain of many of my clients who are dealing with similar situations. When someone you love is seriously ill, your mind has to do something with the inevitable feelings of fear and helplessness; often this manifests as intractable pain. As both patient and therapist, sometimes all I can do is acknowledge the pain, treat it with the skills at my disposal, and wait for it to pass.
It always does.