I’ve been on Instagram for quite a few year, sharing little square of things which make me happy, crafty makes, corners of my home, the odd cocktail shot when I have a night out and of course my little ones (and every now and again a picture of my big son when he doesn’t know I’ve snapped it).
For a long time I just used it as a place to keep memories all together and every now and again I would scroll through my own profile and smile at different pictures which evoked memories of happy times. (I’m not sure if you are meant to admit to stalking your own Instagram profile, but I’ve put it out there!)
More recently, I have discovered another side of the little app-one which has totally overwhelmed me on occasions, and on many occasions has brought tears to my eyes and given me comfort and strength. And most of the time, from people who I have never met and maybe never will.
I have shared Gabriel’s story since the beginning, in fact right from the beginning when I didn’t even know he was nestled in there.
Since sharing his birth, so many amazing people have reached out to me and have wanted to help to keep Gabriel’s memory alive and share his story. I have been asked to make wedding gifts for bridesmaids in his memory, each one of them telling part of his story. Very soon a little doodle I made will be travelling to Sri Lanka to hang in a beautiful villa with his story right next to it; people from all over the world will read his name and know his story and his presents on earth will be known by people who travel to that corner of the world. I have been working with the kindest woman on a project which will be launched very soon to help raise money in Gabriel’s memory to support Tommy’s; his calendar hangs in hundreds of homes and so much was raised for Tommy’s during that fundraising campaign. I receive messages daily of love and support, and more recently a photo of his name written in the sand on a beach in South Sea.
When my friend contacted Hannah at West Stanton Store to see if she had any Teddy for Teddy grey bears left so that Poppy and Gabriel could both have one, Hannah did the most lovely thing. She sent the sample bear she had left as all others had sold months before. This meant that Gabriel could forever has his grey bear and we have one at home with us too. That little teddy really does mean so much to us; he has gone on trips with us, Poppy has slept with him countless times, he is played with regularly and is always called ‘Baby’s Bear’. He is a tangible link that Poppy can make with her little brother and that is only possible because of the amazing kindness of someone behind those little squares.
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter cards have been bought and shared, each one in memory of my little boy and each one going towards helping someone else. I have had the honour of creating pieces in memory of other angel babies. In the conversations about their little ones I have connected with some women on a level that I would never have dreamt of, but the way our cards have been dealt we share a loss which can never really be described however, is sadly felt by so many.
The number of amazing women who have shared Gabriel’s story, his fundraising projects and have reached out to send some virtual love is something that I will always be grateful for. And is something which I never really imagined happening…I’m just little old me who posts some photos every now and again. The outreaching of love from people who I know genuinely care and wish they could take it all away has been the most remarkable thing and a true example of human kindness and compassion.