I was broken.
My heart was broken, shattered, devastated. My baby boy, gone.
I picked myself up. I worked. I created Hugo’s legacy.
I picked myself up. Again and again and again. Dusted myself off and kept going, despite the battles, the challenges, the lack of proper support. Fought through the loneliness, the despair, the thought that life would never, ever, get better.
I picked myself up, but more than that: I survived. I survived even when I thought I wouldn’t. I survived despite sometimes not wanting to.
Not too long ago, I thought I was broken. Irreparably smashed into a million little pieces. Lost in the darkness, I could not find the light.
Heavy, drained, empty. Weighed down with melancholy, disconsolate, lacking all hope.
And I picked myself up, again. Kept going. One foot in front of the other. Some stumbles, some tumbles, some little rests by the side of the road along the way.
I have learned that no matter how much you might wish it, what was broken can never be regained. But I have learned that what has been broken can be rebuilt, even though it will never look the same.
Like an old puzzle some pieces are missing, lost forever. Some pieces have changed shape, and don’t quite fit back together. Some of those pieces do not fit yet, while some will never. New pieces have arrived to replace the missing.
But there are some pieces that can never be replaced, there will always be a space. A gap.
The rebuilt, improvised puzzle is evolving, shifting, moving. Trying to find its place in the brave new world. The new normal.
I have learned that I can be brave, and strong, and thrive, and be broken, all at once.
I am tired, with the war that battles inside my head every day. But I am winning. Despite the skirmishes in my head I can see beauty, joy, humour in the world.
I choose positivity, I choose development, I choose to smile.
I choose to put my needs first.
I choose to tell my story, I choose to help others.
I choose to not have to explain my motives, what I do to survive.
I choose perspective, to rise above.
I choose to be thankful, to appreciate my body.
I choose to fight, to punch, to kick. And not always metaphorically.
I choose to see that I am strong, I am powerful, I shall prevail.
To close my eyes and jump, not in to the abyss, but into whatever is next.
To not just survive, as I have for the past two years, but to thrive. Regain that sparkle.
Because what is the point, otherwise? I live to honour Hugo’s memory.
Because he is the thread holding it all together. The Japanese call it Kintsukuroi, the art of repairing broken pottery with gold with the understanding that the item is now all the more beautiful for having been broken.
I would give everything back to have him back in my arms.
My heart is broken, but his life is a blessing. I am who I am because of Hugo. Because of not despite. I will allow myself to be shaped by my trauma, by my loss, but never defined by it.
I embrace the glorious mess that I am.
I was broken, and I picked myself up again.
As I begin a new psychological therapy, I may well break again. And pick myself up again I shall.
I am choosing strength, not self-pity. Resilience, not inertia. Hope, not despair.
For Hugo. For me.