In January this year I sat down and made some goals for the year. I know. Do people still do that? Really Suzanne??? Well, yes, I did.
You see, no-one tells you that time does not always heal. To be honest, this year has been the one with the most upheaval, the most confusion, and I suppose, the most darkness and tears. The first year is all, 'I don't know what is going on'. The years after are the realisation that this is it, well it is for me anyway. I can change how I celebrate dates and I can change how I talk about Patrick, but that is all that I can do.
I needed something to work towards, so I made some goals. I knew that this would give me direction, allow me to put on paper what I wanted to achieve, and give me something to look back on when the going got tough and I thought that nothing was working. And, you know what, all these things have happened.
Professionally, what I wanted to focus on was this - the blog and talking about what life is really like after loss - and I wanted to move forward with Patrick and doing things for him in his memory. I also wanted to talk about pregnancy after loss. After having gone though a 'rainbow' pregnancy, it is an absolute minefield. Without a doubt. And, there is little support or understanding around the heightened emotional and mental health needs of women and their families.
Had I not had goals written down, I would probably still be flitting around. I would still be lost and stumbling and becoming increasingly down because I felt like I was not doing anything. Without goals written down I would not have put myself out there a number of times.
One of those times was applying for a grant with the charity, Change Your Mind. I wanted to raise awareness of the emotional and mental health issues during a subsequent pregnancy. I got a grant, which is a brilliant achievement in itself. This grant, and what I said I wanted to do, gave me something to do...! And, it fitted with what I enjoy doing - research and writing. Lovely! It was a breath of fresh air; my head surfaced.
So, over the last few months, I have been working. Thank goodness! I made a flyer and there are plans for a publication also. There is a picture of the flyer above (not a great photo, but awareness does not call for perfection). So far, they have been earmarked for England, Australia, and Ireland. The response has been amazing.
I am proud of this flyer. It feels like a huge milestone. It feels like the flitting with, 'what I am doing?' and, 'how can I make Patrick proud', has paid off. It is an achievement. I suppose, what I am trying to say is this: I cannot change what has happened, but I can do something different with the situation that I am now in. Life is not the same; I am not the same. Patrick dying is not positive, but I can try and do positive things from it.
If we start small and take tiny steps through the grief and sadness, we can make our way out of the dark. If we put one step in front of the other, we can make our way towards the light. We just have to start. No-one can do it for us.