Friday Focus 14/12/18 – Being thankful for the kindness of others

It is eight months today since Jessica passed away. This time of year is especially hard for us – the first Christmas without Jessica as well as coming up to the anniversary of her last heart surgery. This week, I’ve be struck by the kindness of those around us. Jessica is mentioned in nearly all the Christmas cards we have received which means a lot to us. We have been reminded that Jessica is remembered and that our family is in the thoughts of others. We have been sent decorations for our tree with Jessica’s name on – sometimes on her own, other times with Sophie and Thomas or with all our names. A reminder that Jessica is still loved and remembered by those around us.

 

Kindness - this week's word of the week

 

As much as I’m trying to make it a good Christmas for Sophie and Thomas, I’m not feeling remotely Christmassy this year. I’m okay with that. This Christmas is very much about taking it moment by moment, being gentle with ourselves and just allowing the waves of grief to take us where they will.

 

I had one of my rare dreams of Jessica the other night. She came with us on a day out. I remember thinking how lovely it was to be holding a little girl’s hand in each of mine again. Jessica was smiling away at me and I was so happy to be with her again. She was still the same age as she was when she died. It struck me that Sophie looked bigger next to Jessica than she had done before. I wonder if Jessica will always stay the same age in my dreams.

 

The other day one of Sophie’s cousins came over to play with her. I could hear Sophie laughing as they played together and it suddenly made me realise how little I hear her laugh like that when playing compared to how often I would hear it when Jessica was alive. Sophie is good at playing by herself but it does make me so sad when I think of that beautiful bond that she has lost and how she no longer has that constant playmate. Having friends or cousins visit can only go so far in trying to fill that void. I’m glad though that she still can have those moments even if they are much more infrequent now.

 

Things that have made me smile this week

  • Going to the Christmas tree festival at our local church with Sophie’s class.

 

  • Sophie getting her bronze Reading Raccoon certificate for reading 25 books and her one year badge at Girls’ Brigade.

 

Sophie with her bronze Reading Raccoon certificate

 

  • Walking along the canal with Thomas while Sophie and Daddy enjoyed a narrowboat ride to visit Santa’s grotto.

 

Sophie and hubby on a narrowboat ride to Santa's grotto

 

  • Going to see the panto with Sophie and her Girls’ Brigade friends.

Sophie with the panto characters from Aladdin

  • Listening to Thomas chatting away.

 

  • Watching Sophie doing Christmas crafts at school.

 

  • The annual visit from the Rotary Club’s Father Christmas.

 

  • Thomas wearing reindeer antlers and waving bells on his wrists while listening to festive songs at BilinguaSing.

 

Thomas lying on a Spanish flag while wearing reindeer antlers and having bells on his wrist

 

  • A beautiful sunset while heading out to our work Christmas meal.

 

A beautiful sunset over the river

 

WordoftheWeek

8 thoughts on “Friday Focus 14/12/18 – Being thankful for the kindness of others

  1. Of course Christmas is going to be hard for you, but you’ll get through, and you will smile despite you missing your beautiful little girl. She will be there in your hearts and memories and although it won’t be the same you will cope. It’s what we do xx
    Congratulations to Sophie on her reading, what a great achievement. And Thomas looks so adorable in that photo, he will grow up and bring back Sophie’s laughter I’m sure. Sending big hugs xx
    #Wotw

    1. Thank you Anne. There will be smiles of course amongst the sadness of missing Jessica. She will still be part of it, just not in the way we would want her to be.

  2. Oh my goodness. Sophie’s face in that panto photo is priceless. I’d forgotten how many events go on for the younger children at this time of year. Lovely to be involved. Yes, I can imagine there is a tug on your heart always, to say the least. Especially at this time of year. The first without Jessica and yet still two children to see the magic. Lovely to hear laughter from Sophie and what a smiling boy you have. Not the same, just different times. People can be so lovely. I’m glad you are surrounded by so many#wotw

    1. It’s certainly a busy time of year with all the events at school and Girls’ Brigade. It is a very mixed Christmas for us this year – trying to keep the magic for our two living children while grieving for Jessica. We’re just going with the flow when it comes to our emotions. It helps a lot to be surrounded by so much love.

  3. Louise,

    I hope all your dreams of Jessica continue to be pleasant ones.
    Many years ago, my mother told me she’d had a dream about her parents, who then were still alive, in which she was her real age but her parents were much younger than IRL — all three of them would have been in their 40s. When I dream about people I’ve lost contact with, they are (predictably, I suppose) the age they were when I was spending most time with them, or not much older than that. It may well be that Jessica will always stay the same age in your dreams.
    Hopefully, Sophie will have new opportunities for laughter when she’s playing with schoolfriends. She’s done well to have read 25 books, and her artwork is impressive.
    Family resemblance does show clearly on these photos of Thomas that you share with us!

    1. They are always happy ones so far. It really does feel like she visits me to bring me comfort. I had one the next night where she was telling me I needed to put up the Christmas tree which is something I’ve been putting off because I just don’t feel festive. It’s going up this weekend and I feel so much better about putting it up now because I’m doing it for Jessica too – she’s told me to do it!

  4. Gosh! 8 months! I still think about Jessica often. She had a big impact in her short life!
    Sending big hugs. Christmas is bound to be hard but you will get through xxx

    1. Thank you Kim. She certainly touched a lot of people’s hearts. We will carry her with us throughout Christmas, hard though it will be for this first one especially x

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