My grief for Ava feels like the day after the storm. Where the ocean is high and it roars into the land stripping away at the beach. The waves, when they strike me are just as powerful as the day she died; I buckle at the knees and cry for mercy. There is now a lull between the waves, the sun pours down and I can feel the heat of it for the first time in what feels like a lifetime. There is a hint of a reprive in the air. The wind has died down, the rain has eased, I am beginning to be able to hear my soul once more.
I am five months pregnant with Ava’s sibling. I am now standing in the storm churned ocean, my arms protectively over my belly attempting to preserve both of us. My eye is to the horizon searching for a sign of the storms return. In fear of the storms return. I must birth this baby in the ocean of grief, I must find a way to calm and control the chaotic, for both of us. I dream of one day walking in the sand again, with this little one. Of sun hats and chasing a squirmy, sun sweet child down to put on sunblock. Of plastic trowels, giggles and picnics. Knowing that each crash of a wave is my Ava. Relishing it, loathing it and wanting protect this new person from its power. I want to teach this new soul about the beauty of the ocean; of how lucky we are to stand its midst, however, not to allow it to shape its soul.
I am not the same person I was before this storm. I feel as though it has etched on my soul and changed my forever. I will miss her, every day for the rest of my life. It is a constant. A certainty. I am humbly grateful for her. Grateful for what she has taught me, grateful she blessed me with the title “Mama,” grateful to have held her within me for 34 weeks and grateful for what she has not taught me yet. I carry her with me, each day, as I promised I would.