You know, there are some weeks when I um and aah about the word to choose to sum up my week. There are also weeks when I know exactly what my word of the week is. This is one of the latter weeks – it has been a week of affirmation.
It is almost a year to the day since I wrote HELLP Raise Awareness. When I wrote that post, I was still numb after the trauma of that experience, and of Hugo’s death. I was all too aware I should still be pregnant, with a few weeks yet to go. Anger and guilt ruled my life. I was, and remain, committed to Hugo’s Legacy and making sure my beautiful little boy is never forgotten through making a difference to other people’s lives.
It is nearly a year ago now that I stood up in the packed hall at the Britmums Live conference after Life As A Widower’s keynote speech to thank him for helping make death less of a taboo, and to say how hurt I had been by another blogger’s insensitive comment.
So much has changed in that year.
I still baulk at the suggestion that ‘things happen for a reason’, or ‘ah well, you’ve turned your loss in to a positive’. Anyone who says that to me risks being thumped – you have been warned.
That said, blogging has given me a purpose. I blamed myself, hated myself so much for failing my son. My blog became a means of channelling all that pent up anger and energy into something positive – for me, and for other people.
As regular readers may know, the success of my blog since Hugo died has made me feel uncomfortable. I never wanted success this way, and would gladly trade it to have Hugo back in my arms.
I have had to acknowledge that wishing things were different does not make them different. Blogging does not bring Hugo back, but it keeps his spirit, his memory alive.
I have been learning that it is acceptable to be proud of what I have achieved in the past year. I have been learning that to be proud of my achievements, or to carve a career from it if the opportunity arises is not profiting from my son’s death. I have been learning that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible, and I can give to others so much more than I imagined.
The ultimate affirmation, though, came in the form of an email I received from a woman who is recovering in hospital several weeks after being diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, and suffering organ failure. Her baby boy sadly died. Like me, and so many other HELLP syndrome survivors she had never heard of the condition. A doctor at first misdiagnosed her condition as heartburn. This is an excerpt from her email:
I am plagued with a range of emotions, most of which I couldn’t put into words until I read your blog. It was like you had taken the words out of my mouth. Thank-you from the bottom of my broken heart for being a voice for those of us who can’t speak.
Award nominations and the like are wonderful, appreciated, the icing on the cake if you like. But THIS is why I blog. THIS is why I pour out my heart on a regular basis. To help others in a similar position, and to help others who have not shared these experiences learn how to support those who have.