Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012 12:12 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
We have been trying hard to remember - unsuccessfully - who it was that said something along the lines that in many cases - if not all - death tends to define the life of a person. That is far from being Charlotte Brontë's case. Her admirers will each find a key 'defining' thing about her life, but we will say that for most people it is her novel novels that define her life.

People with well-known and not-so-well-known illnesses battle for awareness of them. And thus we think that Charlotte Brontë, though to have died in the early stages of pregnancy due to hyperemesis gravidarum, wouldn't have minded the fact that her day that marks the anniversary of her death 157 years ago is now, at the instigation of the Ayden Rae Foundation, the first annual worldwide Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day.
From The Life of Charlotte Brontë, written by her friend Elizabeth Gaskell
”She was attacked by new sensations of perpetual nausea, and ever-recurring faintness. After this … had lasted for some time, she yielded to [her husband] Mr. Nicholls wish that a doctor should be sent for. He came, and assigned a natural cause for her miserable indisposition; a little patience, and all would go right. She who was ever patient in illness, tried hard to bear up and bear on. But the dreadful sickness increased and increased, till the very sight of food occasioned nausea …
Martha tenderly waited on her mistress, and from time to time tried to cheer her with the thought of the baby that was coming. “I dare say I shall be glad sometime,” she would say; “but I am so ill – so weary -” Then she took to her bed, too weak to sit up … Long days and longer nights went by; still the same relentless nausea and faintness … About the third week in March there was a change; a low wandering delirium came on; and in it she begged constantly for food … She swallowed eagerly now; but it was too late.”
Wakening for an instant from this stupor of intelligence, she saw her husband’s woe-worn face, and caught the sound of some murmured words of prayer that God would spare her. “Oh!” she whispered forth, “I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.”
Early on Saturday morning, March 31st, the solemn tolling of Haworth church-bell spoke forth the fact of her death to the villagers who had known her from a child, and whose hearts shivered within them as they thought of the two sitting desolate and alone in the old grey house.
Charlotte Brontë is thought to have died of Hyperemesis Gravidarum on March 31st1855
In honor of Charlotte Brontë the Ayden Rae Foundation is designating March 31, 2012 as Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day.   We will be hosting an HG Awareness Walk through the community of Barstow, CA and invite you to participate.
Take a moment today to read her life's work. Take a moment today to spread the word about her (probable) cause of death.


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