I’m read a blog called “Headspace Perspective” – www.headspace-perspective.com – on a regular basis. The author, Leigh Kendall, is mummy to Hugo who was very sadly born premature and lived for just a few weeks because she developed HELLP Syndrome and pre-eclampsia while she was pregnant with him and she blogs on a regular basis about how she is coping with her grief and how she keeps Hugo’s legacy going. I am very inspired by her because unlike me who wanted to change the world with everything I wanted to do in Frankie’s memory through his legacy last year she has kept Hugo’s legacy and memory going subtly and most importantly she has taken care of herself through the process, and has been mindful of her grief and how she is feeling. Just before the end of 2014 she wrote a post called “My Word For 2015: Thrive”.
That is the big difference between us – I haven’t done this. As I wrote in yesterday’s post I haven’t had any time to acknowledge my own grief, and not just for losing Frankie but for 3 other lost pregnancies through very early miscarriage and for my father in law, my cousin Brenda and more recently my cousin Tony. I also haven’t come to terms with the other things that have happened to me; although I didn’t have much let up in between each thing that happened I filled that bit of time working my proverbial butt off for Frankie’s Legacy.
I wanted to change the world, and I wanted to do it all. I wanted to create a charity, create support networks, help others that have lost much loved and much wanted babies pre and post pregnancy, I wanted to write a blog, write a book and launch an online magazine. I had a go at doing all of this, and looking back it is a miracle I got most of it done. The book and the online magazine were started but stopped when things went wrong, but the charity got off the ground and I got a registered number from the Charity Commission for it quite quickly, I did lots of fundraising, I launched support groups and networks for parents – I was relentless. Through all of this, and through everything that happened, I was merely surviving – just about.
As I said in my previous post people say to me all the time that I’m so brave, strong and inspirational. I am the furthest thing from all of those things. At my cousin’s funeral I hit a wall and I fell apart not just because he had died but because of everything that happened. When I went to see the GP on Monday about my latest early pregnancy loss he asked me “how are you feeling” and the floodgates opened – I could not stop crying. I thought oh my god, what must he think of the wreck of a woman before him who is sobbing her heart out, but he asked me to tell him what was wrong so I told him everything and I’m not joking when I say he just stared at me with wide eyes and said when I was done, “I just don’t have any words”. He was the one who urged me to look into counselling which I will do, and he is the one I’m seeing next week when I’ve had this latest round of tests for the results.
So I guess right now I am at the place that I should have been at this time last year. I have a long road ahead of me, and while I am hopeful for a bit of respite from things I know that won’t be guaranteed – none of us have any idea what is around the next corner. But if I am lucky enough to get that respite I am going to focus entirely on me, my grief and my feelings. I am tired, tired beyond belief and I can’t keep Frankie’s Legacy going as a charity in the way that I did and I can’t support anyone else right now. Both are on hold apart from doing very small things, for example, Russ and I are taking a small donation up to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital later today so they can buy plants and create a memorial garden in the Spring. I hope we will be able to have something in the garden for Frankie.
So I will be taking a leaf out of Leigh’s book. I’m starting at the very beginning of my journey to try and navigate all the grief I’ve experienced, and while there will be no end to the journey, especially for my Frankie, I intend not to survive in 2015, I survived in 2014. Leigh, you are a HUGE inspiration to me, please keep going.
This year somehow, someway – I fully intend to thrive.