Day 4 is about support; how we have felt with the support we received and any experiences we want to share. Not sure how I would incorporate a photo into this one. Leah had some good ideas but I wouldn’t want to steal them from her.
Leah and I have talked about support and what are experiences have been in previous posts. I suppose there have been changes in my mindset in certain ways in the last three months.
For two or three weeks starting July 8, the world centered around Leah and me. This was to be expected because the unimaginable had just happened. I will always have gratitude for the way our family rallied around us when our lives were turned upside down. There wasn’t a thing our family wouldn’t do for us and we were constantly surrounded by people willing to help. Not only were we facing an emotional Hell, we also had financial worries.
At a minimum, Leah was off work for two months because of her c-section. I was working full-time and was able to take some time off, but nothing close to two months. We were simply in no position for Leah to be off work on top of the medical bills we would eventually be facing. Leah’s sister and my sister-in-law set up a GoFundMe to help us, which ended up being enough money to support us while Leah was off work. If it wasn’t for that financial assistance, we would have been in a lot of trouble. People I don’t even know donated to our cause. For this I will always be grateful. Aside from the GoFundMe efforts, our parents and other members of our family also helped us pay for funeral expenses, Ava’s grave stone and her plot in the cemetery. We still haven’t fully paid for her stone because it was so expensive, but without this direct help from our family, there would be no way Ava would be buried in such a peaceful place.
We also applied for assistance from a nonprofit organization which helped us with Ava’s headstone. If you are interested or ever have the misfortune of running into a situation where you need help, their website is here. http://www.lucajohnfoundation.org/
In the weeks that followed Ava’s passing away, there really isn’t anything I could ever complain about. Our family and our friends were there in every way possible. Some of our closer friends and our neighbors were very compassionate and supportive. Sometimes it is the unsolicited compassion and generosity of others that really makes me appreciate people.
What became hard for Leah and me is the time that followed after that first two or three weeks. We were on our own when it came to figuring this out. I am not saying that our family and friends abandon us; they had to go back to work and return to their lives. When things returned to normal, the rally of support around us began to fade. This is not a complaint, it is just a simple fact. Our family overall is composed of other families. They have their own worries and their own responsibilities and for some individuals, I know they had their own grief to face.
I am always cautious of writing in a manner that seems like I am targeting people or taking issue with people in my life. Part of the purpose of this blog was to be clear with my thoughts and my experiences, especially those who are going through the same thing. Had I been thinking about this, it could have remained anonymous and there would be nothing for me to worry about. Regardless of that, I would never use this as a resource for bashing on people because that is not what this is about. I don’t have any intention of attacking anyone, I just want to be able to write freely.
As time has worn on, we have heard less and less from certain family or friends. I don’t have an answer for why that is. I can certainly make guesses. I have also felt disrespect by words or actions that I felt were insensitive. Since there is no playbook for Leah and me to follow, there also isn’t a playbook for anyone else. I can only extend that grace so far. In certain regards, we have been outright insulted by other people’s actions.
I have written before about this frustration. What is different about these circumstances now is that I have worked through these feelings to the point where I don’t over analyze them like I used to. It doesn’t take much mental effort to feel whether or not someone genuinely cares about you or doesn’t. At this time in my life, the struggles faced by Leah and me are so consuming I can’t possibly let other people influence my emotions. Leah and Ava are my priority in life because that is what I am most proud of. For whatever wrongs I feel have come my way by others, I don’t simply forgive them on a whim, I just file them away for another day and time, if and when it ever becomes necessary. I choose to live as free from the burden of the actions of others towards me as possible, otherwise my efforts with Leah and Ava become divided.
I know which people in my life care and love me. That’s all I really need. I know there are people who don’t care and that is ultimately their choice. I do fully accept this is just the way the world works and I am the last person on earth that should expect things to go my way or for people to act the way I would. For obvious reasons. For those that do care and love me, I do appreciate you and I do love you and I know I probably don’t say it enough. I am far from perfect.