Today I feel so hugged by everyone!
I have had the most incredible messages from friends - old and new. Thank you so very much.
I wondered today if it could be perceived that I have an outpouring like yesterday just to 'ask' for the messages I got today. I wish that were true!! They do undoubtedly help but all I am doing is being 100% honest and open.
And likewise that is what I get back and really appreciate it.
I do feel better today for not beating myself up. I went to see Chris and baby Emily http://www.joebingleymemorialfoundation.org.uk/ and spent a very relaxed couple of hours in their sunny back garden. I also had a new experience - a hot tub! I have been in many jacuzzis but never a hot tub in a garden. It helped my stiff neck and we all had plenty of smiles and laughs. Thanks for the therapy Chris.
I do know that Clive would not be laughing - all my bras and swimwear are also too big!! My weight loss has gone from everywhere. I think there will be a few things going on Ebay as I do not intend to go back over 10 stone again!
From Huddersfield I went to pick Dom up and we went to my parents. Like many other families I suspect today we had the first BBQ of the year. All four of us were relaxed and all chipped in with the meal. Dom and I then called at Claire's to pick something up and I got a quick squeeze of Sophie and also saw Martin's parents. We had all been together on Valentine's Day for Sophie's birthday and I had been telling them that Clive was a great speaker for golf clubs, of which they are members. Little did we all know that 5 nights later he would be dead.
I took Dom home and then opened the most beautiful card from him for Mothering Sunday (there had been a hitch with bags last week and I said it was fine for me to look forward to). As I left he told me not to cry but when I opened the card I could not help but do so - but they were happy, proud and touched tears. Thank you Dom.
Then I have received a comment from a delegate from Friday's talk. Wow!
I just wanted to comment on your amazing presentation on Friday. I am a psychiatric nurse who attended the patient safety conference. To be honest I was in two minds about the whole thing. I love my job and a day away from work, (unless it's Annual Leave!) can be a bit of a bind, worrying about how my caseload is doing etc, catching up with visits, all for the sake of listening to various people talk about subjects that often don't wholly concern me.
Well what a shock it was to hear you! (Admittedly people making me cry are never that popular with me!!!), but you absolutely astounded me. From start to finish I was enthralled. The way you told your remarkable story, the bravery within, you left me speechless, everything else that day paled into insignificance. I would like to say a huge thank you for making the day such a pleasure.
I also noted your comments during the Q & A session - you made reference to upon hospital admission, you want somebody to take care of you, you don't want to make decisions, choices being too difficult to make at that point in time.
As a health care professional, I am sure we all get into the mind set of promoting independence and getting people to make their own choices (which is as it should be) however, I will think more about your comments regarding choices/decisions and when somebody is acutely unwell it's enough for them to even make a decision about whether to have sugar in their tea or not.
I will think more about this and ensure that I don't place any undue stress on people by encouraging them to participate in care planning etc too early on in their admission. So thank you for that I plan to feed this back to my colleagues that were unable to make the conference on Friday.
Thank you again Elaine, you are one of the most incredibly brave and inspirational women I have ever met.
Keep up the good work.
Blimey! If I can't feel proud and happier tonight then it's a poor do.
I am feeling really, really tired but not weepy. I know Clive would be so proud of the comment above and would also be so grateful for all the warmth and support flowing my way.
On reflection I have done this weekend what I have done many times since I gave up teaching and took the risk of making a living through my talks. I LOVE doing them but it is a struggle and always the challenge financially. I have had 'wobbles' like yesterday before when I have been so 'high' after a talk and I question if I should take a safe day job! It was just worse yesterday because Clive is no longer here to share the highs and lows.
On a positive note here are the details for one of my next presentations in Cardiff on 26th May here.
The last few days have indeed been a roller coaster ride. A huge up followed by huge downs. Tonight I feel more on an even keel again. The smiles are easier. I have lost my soul mate - the pain and hole left are indescribable but I still have two awesome families and tremendous friends.
This is for you all