Friday Focus 19/04/19 – Giving joy for Jessica

It meant so much last Sunday to see people joining in with #givejoyforjessica and sharing some joy in memory of my beautiful brave girl. We left some chocolate bars at church to be given out with the tea and coffee at the church lunch. It was lovely to see other people joining in too – from just appreciating and enjoying time with their families through to donating to the food bank and leaving flowers on people’s cars for them to find. So many ways to spread a little joy in honour of a little girl who brought sunshine to everyone who knew her. This first anniversary has been tough but seeing others sharing joy gave me a little joy too and made our grief a little easier to bear.


The word 'joy' with flowers, a heart and a butterfly


We spent the morning visiting Jessica’s forever bed before coming back to church for the afternoon for our minister’s farewell service. Having a distraction helped us get through the day. It was the days either side of the anniversary that were the hardest.


Jessica's forever bed with flowers either side of her memorial


As much as I try to focus on joy and gratitude where I can, I won’t pretend that it is easy to do so. My word this week could have easily been ‘drowning’ – in amongst the little moments that bring sparks of joy, there have been crashing lows and feelings of overwhelm. Moments when grief is all-consuming and just trying to do the bare minimum to get through the day feels almost too much to manage. One step at a time though. All we can do is take the feelings as they come and get through it moment by moment. Carrying Jessica in our hearts wherever we go and trying to smile through the sadness when we can.


Things that have made me smile this week

  • Arranging the flowers for church.


A flower arrangment with the flowers arranged in rainbow colours from back to front


  • Making dandelion and lemon biscuits with Sophie.


Sophie mixing dandelion petals into the biscuit dough


  • Stopping off at a gold postbox on the way back from visiting Jessica’s forever bed. We visited every gold postbox in the country with Jessica as part of our gold postbox challenge. I think she would have approved of going to visit one of them again with Sophie and Thomas.


  • Being sent photos of Jessica by my sister. There were a few that I hadn’t seen before.


Sophie and Jessica at the beach


  • The beautiful watercolour family portrait of us painted by Scarlett at the Ladybird Doll studio that was sent to us by some friends. So lovely to have a picture of the five of us together.


The painting of the five of us by Scarlett at the Ladybird Doll Studio


  • Watching Sophie playing with Thomas. She is so good with him. I loved how he was happily opening his mouth while she fed him pretend food from her tea party. It must have been a bit disappointing to be fed air but he seemed happy enough!


  • Giving Thomas a bath in the kitchen sink. He loved it!


  • Going to visit my mum and spending a day catching up with some of my siblings.


  • Thomas’s reaction to Auntie Maxine putting a knotted napkin on his head.


Thomas looking surprised at having a knotted napkin on his head


  • Sophie making a castle with foam mats and getting Uncle Adrian to play the part of the prince to her princess.


  • Going for a walk around Langley Park.


Sophie posing in her hat and sunglasses in front of the rhododendrons at Langley Park

8 thoughts on “Friday Focus 19/04/19 – Giving joy for Jessica

  1. I’m so glad that seeing people give joy for Jessica brought you some comfort, it was lovely to see people getting involved. We left some of our favourite story books for people to find thinking of Jessica along the way. Your flower arrangement for church is beautiful, those colours together are stunning. I hope you have a nice Easter weekend x

  2. Beautiful photos as always, your children are so cute and adorable. I know it was hard but you made it through Jessica’s anniversary. It will never be easy, but she’ll always be in your heart and I’m so glad that you celebrated with Joy, she would be so proud of you I’m sure. That painting is so lovely, what a fantastic gift, and your flower arrangement is stunning. xxx

  3. Leaving chocolate for a treat at church is a wonderful way to spread joy. I would be joyful with some unexpected chocolate! I was thinking about you this week and the anniversary of Jessica’s passing. God is with you in your grief. Blessings to you and your family this Easter!

  4. It really was lovely seeing everyone post about Jessica on Sunday. I’m glad it helped make things a little easier for you. Keep focusing on the good and positive. Sending big hugs.
    The flowers at the church are beautiful and the family portrait is just perfect! x

  5. It must have been such a hard week Louise, I am so glad the joy gave you some light moments, the photo of Jessica and Sophie is just beautiful as are your flowers, and that photo of Thomas is so cute. I am sure Jessica would have been thrilled at you all visiting the gold post box, I remember you all doing that like it was yesterday xx

  6. What beautiful flowers. I love the arrangement. Leaving chocolate is a such a lovely way to pass on joy and mark the day for Jessica. Yes, carrying her in your heart. Thomas’s face is priceless. A fab capture. Love the idea of lemon and dandelion biscuits. Thinking of you all. #wotw

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