Last week was one I don’t want to revisit for a while. Thursday was spent with two close friends as they held a funeral for their beautiful baby girl Matilda Mae. Baby Tilda died while she was sleeping just a month ago, she was 9 months old.
Matilda Mae’s mum Jennie is a prolific blogger. Since she was first pregnant with her twins she has been sharing what it’s like to be pregnant, the experience of parenting premature babies, bringing them up, playing with them and then all over again when baby Tilda came along.
Jennie has got an incredible amount of help and support from the online world, and given back the same and more.
When it came to preparing what I’m sure was the most difficult day of her life, Jennie wanted to make sure the friends she had made through her blog were included and what they mean to each other was reflected.
The service was just lovely, it was a true celebration of Matilda Mae’s life. Susanne (AKA @Ghostwritermumm) and Heather (AKA @SAHMlovingit), both bloggers who I’m not sure had even met Jennie in real life before, read incredibly moving pieces about Jennie and Matilda and what their lives and experiences meant to them. They included other words from bloggers who couldn’t be there and I’m sure they could have read a lot more.
In the pub later, there was a Twitter wall showing all of the love and wishes from tweeters across the globe. For a while #matildamae was trending, a true social media baby. People changed their avatar to a special star picture, making Twitter twinkle for the day.
Jennie’s reason for including these social media elements in the day was to show her non-blogging friends and family just what strength, support, help and love she has got from the network. It was bloggers that rallied round to make sure Jennie and her husband looked after themselves in the horrible weeks following Matilda’s death. They arranged for Graze boxes and other food to be delivered, to keep up their strength for their other children.
An older man I sat next to in the pub – who I took to be a relative – asked me about Twitter and how the Twitter wall was working and then acknowledged that actually, blogging was pretty good. He admitted to only every having read negative stories in the press. I think that’s exactly what Jennie wanted.
Matilda Mae’s impact in the world, in just 9 short months, has already been incredible. As well as practical help and support the blog has given other parents in that time, over £3000 has been raised in her memory for the charity Bliss, and hundreds of people are already signed up to walk a Mile for Matilda for the charity FSID.
The connections you make with people online can be incredibly powerful and make a real difference. I am sure that Matilda Mae will continue to inspire for a long time to come.