At first for today’s Sunday Thought I was going to choose one or the other of the pictures below. Both appeared on my Facebook timeline this week, and summed up perfectly my feelings.
After a while, I realised I couldn’t choose between them because they are two halves of the same whole – so I chose both:
For anyone who thinks that grief has a time limit, or that you ‘move on’ from the death of your child. There is a Hugo-shaped hole in my heart that will always remain. I feel the ache from that hole every day, I feel the pain of the void his absence has left in our lives. I feel the frustration when people don’t know what to say for the best, or do not mention Hugo.
But – oh, I feel such a proud rush of love when people do mention Hugo. When they admire him for the gorgeous, feisty baby he was. When they observe the work that has been done in his memory.
That is because Hugo’s Legacy comes from that pain, that void. As Angela Miller says, the love that oozes from it gives me the power to use my experiences to help others, to make others sit up and listen, to challenge.
To change the world.
This is something I have difficulty with.
Since Hugo died I have discovered the very best of people: people I knew before, some I have met since. Such kindness, empathy, warmth.
Through my blog I have made the most beautiful friendships. Some are fellow loss mamas, others are not. We share in common a passion for sharing with others our feelings and experiences through words, a determination to give comfort to others, reassure them they are not alone.
Through social media I have made the most wonderful friendships. Professionals from all fields. Kind, compassionate, determined people willing to listen and take account. People willing to help me get involved, use my skills, collaborate to make a difference.
Through my blog and social media I have been given fantastic opportunities. Opportunities to get dressed up, have fun, be me; opportunities I never thought I would have.
Opportunities I never thought I would pursue, or do: speaking in front of large audiences, and with a clear voice too. The power of that love for Hugo gives me the strength.
Many beautiful moments.
All opportunities that came because Hugo died. Yes, these opportunities have come as a result of a lot of hard work, but the motivation for the effort comes back to the same reason.
Friendships, relationships, opportunities. But no son. No offence, but there are no prizes for guessing which I would prefer.
While I have a better sense of comfort with the opportunities I have been offered in the past year, I doubt it will ever sit well with me.
I would give it all back to be another mummy with the everyday trials and tribulations of caring for an energetic, willful 13 month old little boy. Who knows what our lives would have looked like in reality, but it would have been full of beautiful moments. Beautiful moments of a different sort. The wonderful moments of motherhood, the frustrating moments.
But what is done cannot be undone.
The way forward is to move forward. Reflect on the beautiful moments I had during those 35 precious days with my beautiful boy. Wish for more, so many more; no amount of time can ever be enough.
Hold on to those beautiful moments, and look to the future. Forging more wonderful friendships, generating more opportunities, creating more beautiful moments.
Hugo will always be a part of them.