Friday Focus 24/04/2020 – Missing Jessica

We’re back to (home) school this week. The start of the summer term in Year 1. A new milestone for us – one that Jessica never reached. We’re missing her a lot this week. Not that we ever stop missing her, but this week especially so. It’s the awareness that we are now in a new term and on new ground along with the moments of watching Sophie and Thomas having fun in the garden and being acutely conscious that there should have been three of them playing together.

 

The word 'missing' in pink

 

It is weird to think that returning to school after Easter in Year 1 is a moment that I’ll never experience with either of my girls. I’d never have guessed for one moment back at the start of Year 1 in September that I would be home-schooling Sophie for the start of the summer term. I’ve been amazed though at how well she’s coped with it all, and I’m grateful that she does want to learn and enjoys doing so. But, although she is coping well on the whole, she is really missing her friends and the social aspect of school. And that lack of social interaction is also bringing home once more how much she misses Jessica.

 

The other night at bedtime when she said goodnight, she said to me, “I hope you dream about Jessica,” and then told me that she dreams about Jessica quite a lot along with dreaming about her favourite TV programmes. She’s been drawing more pictures of us as a family, including Jessica, with happy faces because we’re all together and then sad faces because Jessica died. She writes little notes to Jessica, telling her that she misses her. And I can see how much she longs to have a playmate who can play with her on the same level; who can sit and get lost in imaginative small world play with her. She adores Thomas and is amazing with him; they have lots of fun chasing each other around the garden, but he is too little to play properly with her. As with us, the hole in her life is Jessica-shaped.

 

A little note written by Sophie with drawings of our family – “To mummy and daddy and Jessica. For Jessica I miss you lots and lots. For Daddy I love you very much. For mummy you played very lovely music from Sophie.”

 

Pre-lockdown, she at least had her friends to play with every now and then. They’ve been like substitute sisters to her – one of her best friends is even referred to as being her “school sister”. But now she isn’t able to play with them either and I think she’s starting to struggle more with that. It’s so tough. I can try to take time to play with her a little more, but I can’t fix this for her and that is hard. But I’m glad that she is finding ways to express things – particularly through writing and drawing – and hopefully that will help her through.

 

 

Things that have made me smile this week

  • Putting together another live-streamed Sunday service – this time as part of a team.

 

  • Sophie wanting to join in and be filmed at the piano ‘just like Mummy’.

 

  • The way Sophie and Thomas sit together when watching something on the iPad. It so reminds me of watching my girls together.

 

Thomas and Sophie, snuggled up and watching the iPad together

 

  • Baking (and eating!) blueberry muffins and peanut butter cookies.

 

  • Doing some nature art with Sophie.

 

A picture of a butterfly and dragofly above a flowery meadow made from leaves, petals and flower stems

 

  • Seeing the roses starting to bloom in the garden.

 

  • Watching butterflies in the garden.

 

  • Learning about parts of a flower with Sophie.

 

Sophie looking at a flower through a magnifying glass while trying to identify parts of a flower

 

  • Thomas sleeping through the night a couple of times – it’s amazing what a difference a good night’s sleep can make!

 

  • Watching the children having fun with bubbles in the garden.

 

  • Being able to do home learning outside in the garden with Sophie.

 

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11 thoughts on “Friday Focus 24/04/2020 – Missing Jessica

  1. First of all, I’m happy to see you’ve had some sleep, it really does make a difference. I love all your photos as usual, Thomas snuggling up to Sophie is so cute. And, of course, there will also be a Jessica shaped hole in all of your lives, but she will always be with you in some way too. Those little memories will make you smile, those little moments that you wish she was sharing will hurt. It will be your normal forever, but Jessica would want you to keep smiling I’m sure. And Sophie is such a bright little girl, I love her letters and art work, so talented.

    1. Thank you Anne. Yes, a decent amount of sleep makes so much difference! I know Jessica would want us to keep smiling too. It is nice to hear Sophie talking a lot more about her, but hard to knowing that she misses her so much.

  2. I was thinking of you the other day Louise and how difficult Sophie must be finding it without Jessica at the moment. It is just the time when they need a playmate. I am glad that she is enjoying Thomas’s company but it must be such a difficult time for you all.
    Nat.x

    1. Thank you Nat. I think being at home and not seeing her friends is bringing a lot of feelings closer to the surface right now. It’s good that she’s talking about them and expressing them through her drawings though x

  3. I love how you always end your posts with the things that make you smile. I think you have a good outlook on life – you are allowed to be sad, to miss your daughter and the milestones you will never see with her, then you look for the good in life, which includes Sophie and Thomas to no small part. Sophie’s nature art is beautiful! I have never seen anything like that. And the photo of the two of them cuddling together watching something on the tablet is adorable! I hope you have a good week, Louise.

    1. Thank you Laurie. I do find it helps a lot to look for the little moments of happy whilst also accepting the sadness that we live with too.

  4. Sending love and hugs. It must be hard for you all missing Jessica.
    I am glad Sophie is doing well with the home schooling. I don’t think any of us were expecting to have the kids home all day, every day.
    I am glad you have found reasons to smile this week x

    1. Thank you Kim. We do miss Jessica so very much. I’m glad that Sophie is able to express those feelings more now though.

  5. Separation from friends is a tough one. Mine are older and I check that they are staying in contact with their friend via social media. One told me this week that conversations are shorter as no one is doing anything worth talking about. Strange times. I bet Sophie is missing Jessica. Playing in the garden in the sun with her sister must be a strong , happy memory. I’m sure Sophie is gaining new understanding as she grows older too. I love the photo of Sophie and Thomas watching together. Very sweet. Ans Sophie’s nature art is absolutely beautiful. Hope you have a lovely weekend. #wotw

    1. Yes, I think there is an element of more things coming out as Sophie understands more. It is hard for her not being able to play with her friends and I think it does bring home Jessica’s loss that little bit more. I can imagine the conversations are shorter than normal with chatting with friends via social media. We’ve had the odd short video message from Sophie’s friends via WhatsApp which she likes. Not the same as being able to see them properly though.

  6. Oh bless Sophie, sometimes I think we slightly underestimate how much the little ones understand. Home schooling certainly wasn’t a thing I thought I’d be doing, mine miss the social side of it too. Love your photos 🙂

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