I made it through a few days of writing the “capture your grief” blog. Then I didn’t feel like it anymore.
Today is merely a window in time so it can’t be the way that I will look at things forever. I may even feel differently tomorrow. Who knows. In the last few months I don’t know that I have felt more isolated than today.
I remember believing that couples who don’t survive the loss of a child end up splitting apart because communication breaks down and one or both partners just can’t deal with the other. I did not understand that there was another angle to not making it. I am not saying that’s where I am today but I at least got a glimpse of it in the last few hours. We went on a walk together. I would guess we were gone for maybe 45 minutes. Aside from a few sentences, we said nothing to each other. I was not angry with Leah and I don’t think she was angry with me. What was different this evening was how neither one of us were able to do anything about how the other person felt.
Today was a crappy day. The weather was very gloomy which is typical of Michigan in the fall. When the weather turns to crap my mood can go with it. Not always but this time it did. I think Leah’s followed the same path. We both were just depressed for obvious reasons. It is undeniable that we both face the loss of Ava in different ways and when we are in a deep, dark place, our needs are completely different. I don’t always know what Leah needs. When she feels like there is no hope and there is not a point to this world, I try not to correct her or plant some silver lining in her mind about all of this. I want to fix how she feels but I know that I can’t. She just wants to be with Ava and there isn’t a single word or action available to me that fixes that. When she feels that way, I often just listen. I don’t have any words that I feel are “right” to say anyway.
When I am in that deep, dark place, I need hope. I have come to terms with the fact that Ava is gone. No matter how much I wish that she could be right here right now, I know that isn’t possible. It isn’t fair that any of this happened and I don’t believe that Leah or I did anything to deserve this. I questioned whether I was being punished for my past actions at one point. Now I just think life unjustly screwed me and I don’t have any options to remedy that. When I am depressed and feel like I can’t make anything better I need hope. I want so badly for Leah to be that person. When she is circling her own misery, she is in no position to do that for me. The hope that I derive on my own and hold so close can dwindle very quickly when days like this come along.
Today was a glimpse of how two people can be facing the loss of the same child and be of zero help to the other. When that happens, you wonder how the heck survival is even possible. My hope has always ridden on the idea that maybe alone I can’t face the loss of Ava, but with Leah it’s possible. I have never pictured a scenario where I survive and Leah doesn’t or the inverse of that. It just hasn’t been a thought I have ever entertained. Today I at least saw another way couples can suffer. It isn’t through anger or resentment. It’s from being unable to help when you want to more than anything.
I don’t predict that we won’t survive. I don’t believe it can come to that. As I said, this day is a window. It’s just a time where I feel a certain way. It can change and most likely will.
I miss Ava. I miss her all the time. I may not always dwell on it, but the feeling is always there. I wish (even when I know it can’t come true) that this could have been different and she could have survived. I hate being a father and not having my daughter here. I hate thinking about what could have been possible as Ava’s dad. I hate realizing that not only can I not have my daughter, I also can’t heal my wife’s pain. What is left is trying to figure out how to live life without Ava and take care of myself and my responsibilities at the same time. I want to fix all of this but I can’t. Sometimes all I can do is exercise a little patience.
I love Leah with every fiber of my being. I don’t know who I love more between her and Ava. It’s safe to assume I love them both equally but differently. I see a day where we are much older and grayer, and together. I don’t know how many children we will have or what our lot in life will be. I simply can’t imagine how we would survive this life without one another. I really don’t think it would be possible. That’s why I have to believe that today is just a bad day and there is no way to know what tomorrow brings. I now know more than ever that believing tomorrow will be a certain way is foolish. I still believe there is nothing wrong with imagining what could be possible.
I miss you Ava. I hope that wherever in the Heavens you may be at this very moment that you are doing wonderful things. I picture that you are a caretaker, someone who watches over others. The moment I laid eyes on you I never knew anything or anyone to be more precious than you. That’s why I believe that you are a miracle worker. I can’t wait to see you again. 60 years is a long time, but I know you would be heartbroken if my life were cut short like yours. I would rather my heart be broken than yours. Until we do meet again, I will do everything I can to hope and to make you proud.