This month has been hard hitting and at times downright cruel. It is February. It is to be expected. Ava is five and she is not here. As disappointment, heart break and earthshaking moment has gone through me time and again this month I have reminded myself as ever,
“it is February.”
It seemed a natural explanation for our annual trip away for Ava’s birthday being cancelled. Or for Lillian getting a 6 day fever at 40 Celsius, followed by a misdiagnosis and re-diagnosis. For Matt getting a sinus infection and cancelling our re-booking of Ava’s birthday trip. And for the news of the impending loss of my long beloved family dog. Time and time again as bad news poured in it chugged through my brain like the clacks of train tracks,
“It is February…it is February… it is February…”
Last night driving home after a long overdue night with a friend it occurred to me that this February has reminded me of all the lessons of Ava’s death. The immediate lessons of her death. The ones I found myself thinking about lying in the blur of those night hours with her still in my belly. The lessons about the things I had shaped my life around until that point and the things I thought mattered.
What car I drove. How much money we had in our emergency fund. If my career was on the “right path.” Plans I had made and felt so in control over (a complete illusion of control). The things I used to get angry about like carpet being poorly laid in the basement or poor customer service I received just the day prior. None of it mattered with her dead and my life hanging in the balance with blinding liver pain and a syndrome taking my life over moment by moment. It just did not matter any more.
And it never mattered the same ever since.
Or so I thought. Life crept in and took a hold. Somehow in the last five years I thought I had control again. I thought I knew how to “manage” grief and I had a plan. It wasn’t as if I did not believe in her lessons, in fact I could recite them and yet somehow I had forgotten that they applied to me. All the crappy things this month weren’t in fact examples of February’s profound ability to suck and be the very worst month on the planet. Rather the storm served as cruel reminder (after reminder after reminder) that I was missing the point entirely. Instead of railing and grieving and blaming the universe for it’s big gigantic magnifying glass of heart ache on my life I needed a shake.
A shake and a refocus on what matters. And an ego check that plans are simply an illusion.
Message received Ava, I will never forget again.