Phew – what a roller coast the last week or so has been.
The response to my last blog post was simply stunning. A few of us has a deeply, deeply emotional weekend as we read peoples responses to the post on Facebook, email, and in the Just Giving pages. The pledges made to Mind so far have knocked me sideways. As I write this, nearly £700 has been raised online alone.
All sorts of people have sponsored: friends of mine, friends of Paul, friends of Sarah and even some people none of us have ever met! The impact of such generosity was firstly extremely satisfying, then slightly overwhelming, and then confusing. Then my head hit the wall.
It was during a highly motivated 14 miles that I started to get my head around the sponsorship thing.
Some people are sponsoring me because they know me and want to support me. Others are supporting the charity and the cause. But most people are sponsoring because of the sense of affection and loss they still feel about Paul and their admiration for Sarah. Anyhow, if anyone who has sponsored me is reading this: Thank You.
In fact, in many cases I’ve stopped thinking of the generous donations as sponsorship for my run. Instead I think people are using the opportunity to sponsor as a tangible way of showing their ongoing grief and commitment to support. The results are tremendous and more overwhelming than the amount of money raised so far.
Lot’s of people still feel the same way that I do. I know they do because I read what all of them have written on the Just Giving pages. I’ve had contact with a number of people following their donations and something that will stay with me forever came from one of Pauls friends who I only met a couple of times. He said “what happened with Paul changed us all forever”. Yes. Yes it did.
That makes me think about my grief and the ongoing grief demonstrated by so many generous people who reacted my last blog. We changed. We’re all trying to come to terms with the loss we feel, but maybe we should also be coming to terms that we’ve changed. That gap that Paul left will never be filled – it’s just a Paul sized gap that we’ll all carry around with us for ever more. Because we’ve changed.
On the training front things haven’t gone too well. After the successful 14 miles I’ve had a horrible cold and taken a week off training. I was back on the bike last night and will be running 10k tomorrow before resting up for a half marathon at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday…. watch this space to see how I get on.