Friday Focus 08/09/2023 – Bittersweet

The end of the summer holidays and the start of the new school year is a bittersweet time. Making the most of the last few days of having Sophie and Thomas around during the day, doing fun things and enjoying the moments we have together, followed by the sadness that always comes with going back to school. I’ve always felt sad when summer comes to an end but that sadness is now heightened by grief at the milestone moments that Jessica is no longer here for.


The word "Bittersweet" in lilac bubble writing.


This year she would have been due to start secondary school. Seeing photos of her friends starting their new schools was bittersweet – that mixture of wishing them well on their new adventure and the intense sadness that Jessica isn’t there with them. Another milestone moment missed.


Thomas in front of a door with the text "Year 1"; Sophie in front of a door with the text "Year 5" and a door with "Year 7"


It was also Jessica’s birthday this week. She would have turned twelve this year. We had six birthdays with her and we’ve now had six birthdays without her. Another milestone moment. I’ve learned to carry grief but the milestone moments are always intense and they don’t get any easier. Jessica is always so very much missed, but especially so this week.


Jessica in the woods wearing a princess dress and teddy bear ears



What I’ve been grateful for this week:


A small hand holding a tiny bottle marked "Dragon's Wisdom"; a white sailing dinghy on a lake; a steak topped with grilled prawns with a jacket potato on the side; Sophie and Thomas in the middle of the maze at Cliveden; Sophie and Thomas in the paddling pool; Jessica's birthday cake and flowers in her vase at her forever bed; the sky with the sun and a bright rainbow-coloured point of light on the left side and a rainbow halo around the sun - "#365daysofgratitude 2023 - Week 36"


  • Day 244 – I am grateful for a fun potion-making session.


  • Day 245 – I am grateful for an afternoon with Sophie trying sailing for the first time.


  • Day 246 – I am grateful for a belated meal out for hubby’s birthday.


  • Day 247 – I am grateful for a lovely day out at Cliveden to finish off the summer holidays. Going to miss these two when they’re back at school tomorrow.


  • Day 248 – I am grateful for a quiet afternoon watching Sophie and Thomas having fun in the paddling pool after their first day back at school.


  • Day 249 – I am grateful that we were able to go up to GreenAcres after school with Jessica’s birthday cake to share it together there and sing happy birthday to her. Love and miss you always my sweet girl. Happy 12th birthday. Thank you too to everyone who has remembered Jessica and had her and us in their thoughts. I’m also grateful for the love that has surrounded us today.


  • Day 250 – I am grateful for Sophie spotting a sun dog on the way to ballet. I’ve enhanced the photo to make it clearer – you can see the rainbow coloured light on one side of the sun (there was another one on the opposite side but it’s hidden by the building in the photo) and the rainbow halo around the sun. Never seen one of these before – fascinating.



Other things that have made me smile this week:

  • Having a water fight in the garden.


Sophie squirting a water gun at Thomas in the garden


  • Thomas drawing a Numberblock 12 for Jessica on her birthday and then coming out of school later that day with another birthday picture that he’d drawn for her.


Thomas holding a picture of a Numberblock 12 with Jessica written above it


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18 thoughts on “Friday Focus 08/09/2023 – Bittersweet

  1. We understand all too well the bitter sweet moments. The little ones look lovely in their uniforms and I want to wish them all the best for a fantastic year ahead. Hope you also find it easier to cope too. Blessings

  2. Sending love and hugs. This week must have been so hard for you with the return to school and Jessica’s birthday. I saw the back to school photo on FB and smiled at Thomas and Sophie but felt sad Jessica wasn’t there. I am so glad that even on the toughest of weeks you find things to be grateful for. x

  3. Must be hard with all the back to school milestones being missed.

    Nice that the children were able to get in the paddling pool, it’s been so hot. We’ve been out and bought fans!

  4. Such bittersweet moments. Jessica will always be in my thoughts, time goes by but grief doesn’t give you a break. I’m glad you have your sunny outlook on life to keep you riding those waves. I’ve never even heard of a sun dog, I will definitely keep my eye out for one now though.

  5. Awww at the empty door picture. Sending love and hugs. I miss my boys potion making days, they were very messy but I loved their enthusiasm. That’s fab Sophie tried sailing, hope she enjoyed it. My two used to go to a sailing club.

  6. Sailing looks fun and the kids look so grown up in their uniforms. I love that Thomas drew a birthday card for Jessica, she will always be such an important part of your family

    1. It was lovely that Thomas drew the card for Jessica – even though he’s never met her, she’s still part of his life.

  7. I hope Sophie and Thomas back to school went well for them. I love the number block Thomas drew. I just can’t imagine how you get through all those milestones, sending love and virtual hugs, Louise. I’ve never heard of a sun dog before

    1. Thank you. The milestones are hard even when I’m prepared for them. We get through it though.

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