Leah mentioned something about the 5 stages of grief and what she actually felt it was like. She found a photo online that described it well. I am not sure if this is the one, but this just about sums up the 5 stages for both of us.
Not sure how the copyright laws work but here’s the link on how I found it.
The whole 5 stages thing that comes right out of a textbook is a total crock of crap. You just bounce all over the place. Any little thing can send you in any direction. I feel as though Leah is experiencing this in a very significant way, to put it lightly. I also feel myself drifting in and out of different thoughts and moods but with me there are two major differences. I have a natural tendency to turn all emotions inward and I also have the inescapable distraction of work. Whether I wanted to or not, when I went back to work I had no choice but to learn how to carry Ava with me during my day so that I didn’t completely lose my mind. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t have times where I can focus too heavily on a memory or have triggers where I want to explode.
Things have just happened in the last five days that have triggered many emotions to resurface. I wish that the grief process were just linear and there was no possible way that you could have setbacks. Everything can cause memories to return. That’s the problem. I haven’t really found a way to foresee what will cause these emotions to flood in. They range from anger, irritations of many types, sadness, isolation, exhaustion, etc. I’m sure I could come up with more. I have learned so far that you cannot expect that you will always get better and you can’t expect that everyone is going to be along for the ride.
I am currently irritated. I am feeling like this is complete insanity. You can go back and forth all over the place and then back again. There is no rhyme or reason to it. That becomes even harder when your spouse is also going through their own version of it. This delicate tip-toed dance you do with one another is hard. You want to be supportive, you want to help, but you also feel like you also need help and you don’t have all the answers. As a man, I naturally want to fix everything (ironically, I am not a handy person). I want to be able to provide solutions to our “problem” of losing Ava. Reality is harsh in that there is not a quick fix and there isn’t any advice I can give that just magically makes the pain go away. If there were, I would not be in pain myself.
So here is where I am today. I want to feel like there is ZERO room in life for the constant if not overwhelming temptation to obsess about people, places or things over which I have no control. This does not apply to my missing Ava. I wish it were that simple but it’s not. When all the other noise of life begins to occupy my mind, it becomes this web of thoughts that are intertwined and never complementary. It becomes a lot to handle. Stripping away the things that don’t matter is just one way I can make the grieving process a little easier. Easier said than done though.
We tried to visit Ava today, but the mosquitoes are horrendous right now. You can’t take one step in the cemetery without setting off an entire swarm of them. No idea if it’s all the rain or the humid air. This contributed to my irritation today. Not only am I forced to visit a cemetery in order to be near Ava, I also can’t make this visit without the risk of getting bitten about a million times. I had a minute or two, which had to be enough.
No matter what happens in life, I will always love you, Ava. You will always be the best first baby I ever could have imagined, even if you were only here for such a short time. You left such an imprint on my life and I will never, ever forget you. I hope we find peace together some day. I love you.