One of my most pressing concerns about moving out of the “hole on Pol” was that it was Ava’s only home.
On the day I went back to clean after the move I sat in her room a long while. I was happy to be leaving but oh so sad to be leaving her space. I was worried she would not come with us, that I would not feel her closeness the same way…that it would all be too much new to include a wee soul that was here for merely 35 weeks.
We then packed up to the apartment and she felt gone.
And I wept.
For 5 long months, although I had moments where she felt close it was not the same. I worried we had made a mistake and that my girl was gone too far from me and unable to know where her family now was.
We moved into the Dream on Russet 17 days ago and have been slowly settling in. I have been unpacking boxes that contain memories of her. The shelf I assembled while 6 months pregnant with her, vases I received after she passed, the coat of Matt’s I put on when I chased the raccoon off the roof in the middle of the night. Her stuffed dog. Her handmedowns for Lillian. All the sudden she came flooding back into our home, like warm spring air she blew back into our lives. It is now apparent that she was not gone before but rather our life was on hold, our life was “gone” and thus I could not feel her. Her memory resides in me and those memories are jogged by our life. It brings me great comfort to see her things on a daily basis, it turns my eye towards her and gives me pause, for her.
My grief has changed once again on me, crossing the 3 year mark and starting a fresh new life in our new home. I still have days where the only thought I can possess in my head is “I miss Ava” yet there is a greater gentle appreciation for her. I find myself listening harder than I ever have before. Listening to the wind to hear if her name is there, watching to see if I can find the little subtleties of her in our life. Now my loss is not an oppressive weight that sits on my chest, consumes my thoughts and bites in the back of my throat but rather the sweet sting of tears. Sweet moments of loss and regret.
Even more so now it is coming apparent that Robert Munsch had it right. He wrote in his book for his lost children, “as long as I am living my baby you will be.” As long as I am here she is here. As long as Matthew is here, she is here. Although life complicates and absorbs our attention, drawing us away she is here in us.
That may be the greatest comfort of all.