The end of the week is always the hardest part of the week. It’s at this point in the week that the memories of those last days with Jessica come back the most and often with those memories come questions. Did I ask the right questions when we were in hospital? Would Jessica still be here if we hadn’t been discharged from hospital? Should I have taken her back in? Was there more I could have done to save her? Did I fail her?
The questions are not as relentless as they were initially. They come in waves. I let them come, knowing that this is part of my grief journey. I know that in many ways, those questions are futile. Asking them cannot bring Jessica back. I can’t go back and take a different path and see whether it would have made a difference. I will never know for sure whether I could have done more. Our decisions at the time were made with the knowledge we had at the time.
It is ten weeks since I woke up, grateful for a night in my own bed after two nights sleeping in a chair. Grateful to be waking up at home with my two little girls; grateful that Jessica had had a more settled night and seemed to be coughing less. I had no idea that it would be our last day together. While Jessica was clearly still quite poorly, there seemed to be signs that she was getting better. She ate all her breakfast and asked for more; she sat at the table and did a jigsaw. Later that evening, I was grateful for the fact that I’d cooked her favourite dinner and she’d eaten it all, plus pudding and a bag of prawn crackers left over from the previous night’s takeaway. When she woke me in the early hours, I was initially a bit grumpy over the prospect of an unsettled night; wanting only to get her settled again so we could all go back to sleep. I had no idea that these were our last moments together; that just an hour later, our lives would be shattered.
The biggest questions of all have yet to be answered. What was it that caused Jessica’s death? Why did she leave us so suddenly? We still have no clear answers to those questions and we may never have them.
This week, we have been for genetic testing. We are still waiting for results from Jessica’s post-mortem although we have learned that Jessica had a small deletion on one of her chromosomes. The geneticist feels that it is unlikely to have any significance with regards to either Jessica’s death or her heart condition but we have been tested to see if either of us carry the same deletion. The results will take around six weeks and are part of the post-mortem investigations so it will be at least a few more weeks before we have any potential answers from that – if any answers have yet been found.
Things that have made me smile over the last couple of weeks
- Picking raspberries in the garden with Sophie and making nature bracelets.
- Seeing Peanut on scan and having my care transferred to a new consultant who is much better than the last one!
- A surprise second birthday celebration when meeting up with a friend especially as my birthday was several weeks ago!
- Listening to Sophie talking to Jessica and telling her what she was doing as she played with toys next to Jessica’s forever bed.
- Spending time with friends and celebrating with them to mark 10 years of the group they organise to take disabled children to Lourdes each Easter.
- Dreaming about Jessica and feeling her close once again – even if only for that brief moment.
- A fun day out at Legoland with Sophie and her friends from preschool.
- Watching Sophie have fun with friends thanks to managing to organise a few more playdates for her.