Friday Focus 06/07/18 – An emotional week

This week has been quite an emotional one. There have been a lot of tough moments when the storm of grief has been raging all around me, and the longing for Jessica has felt almost unbearable. The end of the summer term and the activities that come with it bring back so many memories.


Emotional - this week's word of the week


Last Friday saw Sophie take part in her first Girls’ Brigade display. She was an absolute delight to watch – throwing herself in to the two songs that she took part in, dancing away and doing all the actions. Seeing her walk in with all her friends in their uniform made my heart break again. There should have been another little girl standing next to her. I remembered how proud Jessica was when Sophie started Girls’ Brigade; how keen she was to look after her little sister and show her what to do. She would have loved to have performed in that display next to Sophie.


Sophie at her first Girls' Brigade display


The next day was the heart family day out at Paultons Park. Once again, there were the memories of previous visits with Jessica and the sadness of not having her with us. It was lovely to see Sophie making friends though and for us to still feel such a part of the heart family community.


We visited friends on Sunday and once again, our visit was full of memories of the last time we had been there. Jessica had been so taken by their new baby and had loved giving him cuddles. She had cried on the journey home and asked when we would see them again. We never realised that it would be the last time she would see them.


Sophie had her preschool sports day on Tuesday followed by her reception visit. I was fine taking her into the school hall, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to walk into the classrooms where Jessica was taught. Thankfully Jessica’s reception teacher had anticipated it and made sure I had some time out in a quiet classroom to compose myself again while Sophie was busy exploring her new classroom.


I suspect this evening will also be a tough one. It is awards evening for the Girls’ and Boys’ Brigade. Sophie will receive the badges she has worked for and we will also be collecting the badges that Jessica earned during the year. We have also donated a trophy in memory of Jessica which will be given out as an annual award. I am looking forward to Sophie getting the first badges on her badge bag but I know that my heart will ache so much for my other little girl who should be going up to get her badges too.


Things that have made me smile this week

  • Listening to Sophie telling one of her new friends about Jessica at the heart family day out.


  • Sophie’s little victory dance at sports day after she came first in three out of the five races she took part in.


Sophie winning one of the races at her preschool sports day


  • Seeing the girls’ namesake roses both full of blooms in the garden.


  • Seeing the photos of Jessica on the wall of her classroom. Her teacher told me that her classmates still stop and look at them and think about Jessica. It is nice to know that she is still a part of her class even though she is no longer here.


  • Being given a photobook filled with photos of Jessica at school.


  • Seeing Sophie in the pretty tutu that one of the counsellors at our church made for her.


Sophie wearing her pretty red, white and blue tutu


  • Sophie deciding to name the teddy bear she was given by one of the older girls at church Jessica “because she is so beautiful”.


The Reading Residence

16 thoughts on “Friday Focus 06/07/18 – An emotional week

  1. I can’t begin to imagine how hard is Louise, having moments of joy for Sophie tinged with the sadness that Jessica is missing. The school sound like they have been amazing, I hope Sophie settles into reception class and has as much fun there as Jessica did. Sophie looks absolutely adorable in her Tutu x

    1. Thank you Angela. Jessica’s school have been brilliant – I’m so glad that Sophie will also be going there x

  2. This is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what it must like to be doing all these wonderful things Jessica should have been a part of without her. How lovely of the reception teacher to give you some space to compose yourself when you went into school. It was lovely to read about why Sophie decided to name her new teddy Jessica. X

    1. It has been so hard especially as these are all firsts for us at the moment too which I think probably makes it harder. Jessica’s school have been brilliant and having that support from them has really helped x

  3. Louise, as sad as your post is, I can’t help thinking of all the memories you have of Jessica. They hurt now, but in time they will bring you comfort and smiles. Your little girl will always be with you in some way xx Oh my, how gorgeous does Sophie look in her tutu xx

    1. Thank you Anne. We do have lots of lovely memories and a lot of the time they do bring comfort although there is sometimes pain too. All of the firsts are particularly hard though x

  4. It must be so hard always seeing where Jessica should be, knowing how she’d react and enjoy it, and knowing what a wonderfully proud big sister she’d have been in so many moments. And then this time of year makes it all so much tougher as there’s so much going on to celebrate and with Sophie settling in ready for school. I can’t fathom the levels of grief and pain, and then the strength that you’re finding each and every hour. As always, sending love to you all x Oh, and Sophie looks beyond adorable! Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    1. Thanks Jocelyn. I love how sweet Sophie looks in the tutu. This time of year is a tough one – there is just so much going on and so many firsts without Jessica that bring back memories x

  5. Louise sending love to you, I can imagine you have lots of memories of Jessica and I am,sure she is looking down and feeling proud of how wonderful you carry her memory and how beautiful Sophie is as a person. You should be proud X #wotw

  6. It sounds like Sophie had a great time at girls brigade. You must have been so proud. It really must be heartbreaking to not see Jessica with her. I hope tonight goes OK.
    It sounds like a week full of memories for you. No wonder you have been emotional….Sending big hugs.

    1. Thank you Kim. The awards evening was very emotional but I was so proud of Sophie getting her badges and it was lovely to be able to collect Jessica’s badges too x

  7. Louise this post is so beautifully written but fills me with sadness for what you are all going through. It must be so hard and painful to see Jessica in everything but also so wonderful to keep her close and her memory alive. Sending you all my love and strength x

    1. Thank you Sarah. Those little reminders are hard but it is lovely to have so many beautiful memories too x

  8. Oh Louise I am still thinking of you all every day. It must be such a difficult road to tread to be happy for Sophie whilst grieving for Jessica. The more I read your posts, the more I realise how proud Jessica would be of her little sister following in her footsteps and keeping her mummy and daddy smiling even for a moment here and there at the most difficult of times.

    1. Thank you Nat. It is certainly a hard road to tread and we very much take each moment as it comes. Sophie really is a little ray of sunshine though and the memories we have of Jessica are such beautiful ones.

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