This day is about the “nitty-gritty” of my grief journey. This could be things that I have done in my grieving process that I may think is weird, or things I do to remember Ava, or things I fear about the future that seem strange. All of these things lead to feelings of isolation because you think other people won’t get it.
I know early on, I wanted desperately to find out that Ava wasn’t going to be okay had she not been delivered. I wanted a sense of reassurance that she had a very uncertain future ahead of her. This helped me cope with the fact that Ava was gone. I didn’t want to live with the idea that Ava could have been completely fine. I don’t know if that qualifies as weird. I asked myself quite a few times if it was wrong to want her to not have been okay if she wasn’t delivered.
I don’t really have any strange rituals or do anything crazy when it comes to Ava.
I like spending time in her nursery because Leah and I typically talk the most about our grief together in there. I think about how her grave or the nursery is the place where she is most probable to come when she wants to look down on us from Heaven.
The photographs that were taken of Ava in the hospital after she passed away were in super high resolution. I can fall into this depressing trance when I look at the photo of her holding our rings which is on the front page of this site. What gets me for some reason is her finger nails. The same holds true for photos that show her eye lashes or eyebrows. I don’t know why, but when I look at her tiny little finger nails she just becomes this completely tangible, living breathing baby that I know was mine. I get so glued to the photographs that if I don’t make myself stop, I will just sit there and obsess. I did this at work a few times. I would look at her picture and the entire world around me would just disappear. All the noises and any other distractions would be gone. My imagination (and grief) would be running full force.
My fears about the future are what it will be like when we have another child. I am scared of what to do about her nursery. I feel like the nursery is her room and should always be hers. I don’t know how I will be able to refer to that room as anything other than Ava’s room. I am scared that I will love all other children differently or not as much. I am scared that I will feel guilty for having more children. I am scared that if we have another daughter that I will feel guilty because I am replacing her. Future fears could go on and on and on.
I know that overall, I feel like Ava somehow, someway checks in on me from time to time. I feel like I am accountable to her. I feel like failure in any way is ultimately failing her first. I feel like I am her father all the time. When I need courage or anything like that, I ask her for it. When I am having a hard time with something, I think about her. I feel like she watches out for me and helps me if I need her.
I don’t know that any of this qualifies as strange or out of the ordinary. I know grief can take people places they never though possible. For all of you out there grieving and you think you’re weird, don’t worry about it. You should handle the loss of your child exactly how you need to. Don’t take a second wondering what other people think. This is your process and it is different for everyone.