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.
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.
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.
- Making dandelion and lemon biscuits with Sophie.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.