This is what my (imaginary) guiding star through grief tells me:
Look back on the past year. A life-threatening illness, a spell in intensive care, watching your baby fighting for his life, your baby losing that fight in your arms – all in less than six weeks. Any one of those things would be plenty for anyone to deal with. You’re still standing. I’m not saying you’re intact, but you’re here, still.
Your life has not turned out the way it’s supposed to. It sucks. You have every right to be angry. Let it out. Try to not let it consume you.
Learn to be kind to yourself. You do deserve it. Channel that feisty little boy of yours – do what you want, when you want to do it, and don’t be afraid to make what you want crystal clear!
Feel whatever you need to feel.
Do whatever you need to do to survive. Day by day.
Don’t let others pile their problems on you. You need your energy for you.
I know you feel you need to feel the pain of grief to feel connected to Hugo. That’s ok. He will always be there, he will always be a part of you. In time, it will feel better. It will never ‘be better’ though. Know the difference.
There is no ‘other side’ of grief. There will always be a Hugo shaped hole in your life.
Be proud of you. You can do it. No, you shouldn’t have to do it. But you can’t change it. You don’t have to accept it. There is a difference between that, too. But you will one day find the new Leigh.
I am your guiding star. I will help you. I will hold your hand, help you carry your grief when it feels too heavy, and when the exhaustion threatens to overwhelm you. I will be there for you when you think you’re making progress and grief springs those horrible surprises and makes everything worse all over again.
I am with you, every step of the way.