I think Leah and I are as far out on an island as we can be. I have often avoided saying this because it implies there’s no hope for us or that there’s nothing anyone can do. Losing Ava was a single event that triggered our lives to be permanently different. We will never go back to the people we were. I don’t know that we should even go back to the people we were anyway. I feel like we exist in three different worlds. The first world is the one as individuals. The second is as a couple. The third is with everybody else. Each world has its own set of rules and emotions that come with them.
Leah and I have for the most part relied very heavily on one another to survive this grief. When I look back on the last couple of months I know that I would not be where I am without her. She can’t fix my emotions as they relate to grief. What she does do is give me little glimpses of hope every time we manage to laugh at something together or carry on a good conversation with one another. What she doesn’t realize is how much I need her every day. Leah and Ava are the driving forces of my life. When I feel like she is “okay” I feel like I can be okay. When she is sad, I try very hard to help her and when I come up short, I want to be sad with her. I don’t know if that qualifies as co-dependent or not but I don’t really care.
We went to a movie together last night. We don’t go out a lot so it is always nice when we do. I felt like we were just this “regular” couple out and about on a Saturday night enjoying one another’s company. When we manage to experience normal together it brings me so much joy. The great part was we were talking about Ava. We talked back and forth about our experiences when we were in the hospital and other things. What was nice is we were able to do this without completely being upset about it. It still hurt to talk about some of the memories but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. She’s the only person I can talk to without my questioning whether or not I am understood. It keeps our conversations at a very understood and intimate level which is what I need.
Lately I have seen how much Leah’s heart has ached. Over these last two months I have been able to talk her through just about anything. I can just listen and talk and somehow we always find a way through it. It has gotten harder to navigate those waters with her. I don’t have any problem talking about Ava or anything like that, it’s more that I just don’t have that ability to help her find her way like I used to. It’s such a helpless feeling. What is worse is that I completely get how and why she feels the way she does but there’s nothing I can do to fix it. What an awful feeling it is for me when I know I can’t stop her pain or make it go away, even when she desperately asks me to take it away. It’s heartbreaking, especially when all I want to do is make it better.
That can sometimes put us both on different islands. I can see as time goes on how our grief transitions into different experiences for both of us. All I can do is be as supportive as I can be and understand that how she feels in any moment may not be how I feel. It doesn’t mean that I don’t understand or feel the exact same thing just at a different time. As much as my heart shatters to see her feel the way she does I know the best thing I can do is be there in whatever capacity I can, choosing to never give up on her or Ava no matter what. There are times where life just seems like too much and I want to quit. If it were not for the two of them I would have.
The different worlds we live in as the result of Ava being gone are difficult to move in and out of. We spend time with other people (obviously) but there’s always this dark cloud that’s looming. I don’t always feel its presence but when I do it’s this low-grade depression that’s always there. I can’t say anything especially around people who don’t know me well enough. It leaves you feeling alone like the weird awkward kid on the playground that nobody wants to hang out with. It can affect how I interact with people at a moment’s notice and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I don’t really know where to end this post. I just a had a few thoughts I guess. Ava’s roses are looking perfect today. Her roses were fully bloomed and smelled good. Being there is a place of complete peace. Except for when mosquitoes are out in full force. Man is that annoying. I wish I didn’t have to go to a cemetery to see my daughter. Given that I cannot go back and change the past, I must admit that I am grateful I have a place where Ava and I can be and also be at peace. I am betting I will be visiting her for a long time to come.