The week has been hurly-burly, with myriad emotions.
Every day since Hugo’s birthday thinking what I was doing on this day last year. I was such a proud new mummy, yet bewildered in a hospital I was unfamiliar with, in part of London I was unfamiliar with, and mothering my son in a way I had never expected. A year ago today, Hugo had to have a chest drain because of a collapsed lung, while I was finally starting to feel physically better as the result of a blood transfusion.
March is a hurly-burly month. Thinking back to this time last year, the most wonderful and most heartbreaking 35 days of our lives cannot be helped. Knowing there will soon be a time when we can no longer say ‘last year’ about Hugo. Entering a new timeframe. Trying to look forward, to the next chapter of our lives. Trying to remind ourselves that Hugo would want us to be happy, to get out in the world.
Step by step, I have been getting myself out in the world. In a controlled way, seeing people I know well, those who know my story and who I can rely on to be sensitive, but still I am doing it.
Having a chat with friends, a glass of wine perhaps, a laugh even. The conversations don’t always have to revolve around Hugo. Not talking about Hugo does not make me a bad mother.
Getting out there in the ‘real world’ acknowledges there is only so much Hugo’s Legacy can achieve as a keyboard warrior. This brought me the most inspiring and happiest day since Hugo died. I visited London, seeing friends. First was a catch-up with the lovely Kiran from Mummy Says, then a chat with the brilliant Michaela.
This was followed by accompanying Michaela to a meeting at Best Beginnings with Alison, their effervescent CEO. It was lovely to meet Alison after chatting on Twitter for the past few months.
You may remember that for Hugo’s birthday we have been fundraising for DVD players so St George’s neonatal parents could watch the Small Wonders films – Best Beginnings is the charity that made them. I heard more about their great work, met the brilliant team, and talked about the work I have been doing as part of Hugo’s legacy. I was bowled over when I was told that other bereaved parents are fundraising for Best Beginnings, after reading about Hugo.
Hugo and his legacy are making an impact. The news above added to the knowledge that my tweets on Hugo’s birthday had a reach of 1.1 million creates hurly-burly emotions.
We are achieving positive change. I do not need punish myself. I have nothing to punish myself for.
I can relax a bit. I need to relax a bit.
During the past week I have been keeping myself busy. I was tempted to label this activity a ‘regression’, because I have returned to being emotionally exhausted and finding it difficult to relax.
I have to remember to not forget my grief, make time for it, nurture it. I have already learned the hard way that ignoring my grief makes it worse.
It is not a ‘regression’ because it is part of the hurly-burly pattern to grief. Unpredictable, non-linear.
But I am strong, and having survived the past year I surely can deal with anything.
The other night, Martin and I gave a toast to Hugo, and to ourselves for having survived this hurly-burly year.