"Should I still care"?
- if you feel the desire to care then yes. If you feel you can be friends then be friends, the rules with ex partners is- there are no rules only the restrictions she puts on you.
"should I still be grieving the loss?"
- grief, intensity and length is a personal issue. How long love for her lingers is the same. My first relationship of 7 years ended 1983, I still have love for her. These feelings are normal for you, allow it, try not to feel bad or guilty over what is normal.
"Denial, Denial, Denial". We often get that here. Be it stubbornness, pride, whatever, but as frustrating as it is this is common and not your fault.
"so I’m struggling to let go"
- sometimes time is the only remedy. As above distraction helps
"we share a child"
- that child can be your main focus.
Consider this- her initiating the separation might not be any reflection on you in any way. There can be many reasons for this. What is essential is for you to know from others that have been in your position that life does work out and it has more chance of working out eventually with determination and acceptance of the situation.
Humans often change over time. Some don't communicate effectively to put estranged partners at ease or blame them when they have most of the issues. After months of trying to make sense of my 1st wife's actions I convinced myself she had big issues. I'd say myself "silly woman". Then 3 years post divorce her 2nd husband approached me revealing he had the same problems with her narcissistic ways.!! Then our oldest daughter at 12yo left home to live with me as she was treated as bad as I was treated. Message is, build your confidence back up, allow much more time to heal, focus on your fatherhood and keep busy.
A GAPING HOLE
My home a shed, a bath a pail
But it not matter
silence so noisy
Silent nights, no pitter patter
Discarded, alone and dazed
A contrast oh heck
Miss the memories, the warmth
Wrapped around my neck
Then I wrote down my care
it was plain to see
That real love only exists
If she equally loved me
At a time when logic flies away
And I look for all to see
I search for for my only mirror
To rediscover me....
I trek to collect my little one
Keep my tears at bay
If you needed me in London
I'd swim, if I could not pay
The silence of no pitter patter
My life a gaping hole
But it no longer matters
If it out of my control...