Friday Focus 22/12/2023 – Ready

The Christmas cards have all been sent, the presents are all wrapped, school is out until the New Year, and I think we are pretty much ready for Christmas now. Sophie and Thomas have been excitedly counting down the days, and their joy and excitement is infectious although it does come with a side order of that ever-present heartache of wishing that Jessica could be part of all these moments too.



The word 'Ready' in green with a red bow on top



It’s a balancing act of holding space for the excitement and trying not to over-shadow it, but also allowing the space for grief too. We’ve learned over the last five years to go with the flow emotions-wise and to allow space for Jessica, and for our grief, where needed. She’s very much part of our Christmas build-up – in our memories and our thoughts, and as the angel on top of our Christmas tree. Most of our family and friends include her name in their cards which I’m thankful for.


White lilies with red berries, fir and eucalyptus leaves in the wooden vase at Jessica's forever bed


There was a lovely, if emotional, moment when we visited Santa on our trip to Chessington this week. As we posed for our family photo, I pulled Jessica’s photo out of my bag to include her. Santa asked me who the photo was of, and where she was, and I told him that it was Sophie and Thomas’s sister Jessica, and that she died five years ago. He turned round to Sophie and Thomas and told them to look up at the sky on Christmas Eve and look for the brightest star in the sky, because it would be shining extra brightly that night as Jessica would be looking down on us all. We’ve often pulled out her photo at Santa visits but I think this was the first time it was asked about and then acknowledged. It meant a lot that Jessica was acknowledged and included.



What I’ve been grateful for this week:


A table full of party food with a Christmas tree behind it; Sophie standing in front of a Christmas tree; me and Sophie outside the theatre ready to see SIX; a red bauble with the name "Jessica" in gold lettering; Sophie and Thomas at my mum's house with one of their cousins; Thomas catching a reindeer coming down a toy chute in the toy workshop at Chessington; Sophie holding a glass mug with a straw surrounded by wrapping paper - "#365daysofgratitude 2023 - Week 51"


  • Day 349 – I am grateful for a lovely evening at the Radway Christmas party.


  • Day 350 – I am grateful that Sophie enjoyed seeing the panto with her Girls’ Brigade friends.


  • Day 351 – I am grateful for Sophie’s excitement at finally getting to see Six. So lovely to have a theatre trip with her and we loved the show.


  • Day 352 – I am grateful for Jessica being remembered and included by friends and family in the run-up to Christmas.


  • Day 353 – I am grateful for a pre-Christmas visit catching up with family.


  • Day 354 – I am grateful for a fun family day out at Chessington.


  • Day 355 – I am grateful for Sophie and Thomas’s Christmas gifts from Halo Children’s Foundation. Thank you Halo for all you do to support bereaved children.




Other things that have made me smile this week:

  • Singing carols at the carol service.


  • Watching Thomas taking part in his school carol concert.


  • Thomas going through the dog flap at my sister’s house.


Thomas going through the dog flap at my sister's house.


  • Watching Sophie and Thomas having fun at their dance school Christmas party.


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7 thoughts on “Friday Focus 22/12/2023 – Ready

  1. Merry Christmas and lots of happy memories for the season. I’m sure it’s a magical time for the little ones. Cheries the few lovely days ahead and get some rest too. Love from our family to yours.

  2. Merry Christmas! What a lovely Father Christmas you went to see. The photo of Thomas in the Dog flap reminds me of when my Little Man got stuck in our cat flap in the old house…boys eh! I can’t wait to see SIX next year with my girls, we’ve been waiting three years now to get in. (Wheelchair seats have been in high demand!) Have a blessed and peaceful holiday, and Happy New Year xx

  3. How lovely of that Father Christmas to recognise Jessica and talk about her with Sophie and Thomas. Sounds like it’s been a lovely week. I’m booked in to see Six at the end of January. Bit concerned as it’s the first time going to a totally new theatre, but it’s a 4.30 start so I’m hoping I can arrive earlier in daylight and find my way.

  4. It sounds like the kids are very excited! Aww! That was so sweet that Santa included Jessica, she is such a bit part of your lives and it’s so nice how she is still so remembered and thought of.
    How amazing that you and Sophie went to see Six!
    Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family have a lovely day! x

  5. That was a lovely thing for Santa to include Jessica. Thomas in the dog flap made me smile. Hope you have a happy and peaceful Christmas xx

  6. Aww that was so lovely of the Santa to include Jessica like that! Lol at Thomas in the dog flap!

  7. I wonder for how many years Thomas will be able to fit through the dog flap? It should become an annual Christmas tradition. I love how Santa took time out to ask about Jessica, that must have been a very special moment for you all.

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