I feel overwhelmed when I look at my photos of Hugo. Overwhelmed with love, and by loss. Overwhelmed that I helped make such a perfect human being. Those perfectly-formed fingers, those feet. That handsome face, that well-formed nose. Hugo was such a gorgeous baby.
I have been overwhelmed by the love and support I have received this week. Friends have changed their social media avatars to a Baby Loss Awareness week image in Hugo’s memory. Charities and other bloggers have got in touch to ask me to write guest posts for them about Hugo, and his legacy. Organisations have been keen to listen to my suggested improvements and positive about helping me implement them. It is wonderful to see individuals, charities and organisations willing to work together and complement each others’ work in order to help people.
I have received an overwhelming response to blogs I wrote last week for Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness – the response has exceeded my wildest expectations. A US charity shared my baby bereavement photography post, and I was so moved by the many comments about the post, and about Hugo. My favourite was “As we say in Texas, he is mighty handsome” (it’s best appreciated when imagined being spoken in a rich Texan drawl). I was also overwhelmed by the people who wanted to share their own stories of loss. So many babies who did not get to go home, grow up. So much sorrow.
Most importantly, neonatal staff have said they have reflected on their own practice and will make sure they are explicit with bereaved parents about taking photographs after their baby’s death. I want to make sure other families are helped in Hugo’s name. It really is a huge comfort to know that this is happening.
All of this positive activity is making me feel a little overwhelmed, in a tired way. It is mostly good – I am on the way to achieving what I set out to in Hugo’s name, and that is incredible – but I am still struggling to quite achieve the balance I keep talking about. That balance is still proving elusive, but I am getting there. Step by slow step.