Grief and life after Jessica: Six months on

Six months. Six months since the last time I cuddled my big girl; the last time I looked into her beautiful eyes. How can six months have passed by already, how did I manage to survive six months without her? And yet I have and will continue to do so. One moment at a time, one day at a time. Some days it’s all I can do to just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Other days, I can be almost “normal” – on the outside at least. I can smile, I can laugh. Life still has happy moments. Not unclouded ones, but happy moments nonetheless.


Jessica sitting in her buggy while Michael holds a pop-up angel toy in front of her - "Grief and life after Jessica: Six months on"


This past weekend has been the hardest I think since Jessica’s funeral. That six month milestone has hit hard. The day before was the hardest. All the memories of that last day with her; the guilt for not making the most of that last evening and the unanswered questions that haunt me every now and then. Did I do enough? Why didn’t I do more? Did I fail her? Why did she have to leave me? I miss her. I miss her so, so much. Life on the other side of life with Jessica is so very, very hard at times.


The next six months will be harder I think. Timehop is full of mostly happy memories at present. Soon they will become increasingly painful ones. There is the dread of Christmas. Not just because it is the first Christmas without Jessica but because of the memories that it brings. Preparing for the Fontan. The surgery that now feels like it was the beginning of the end.


A smiley Jessica sitting on the theatre trolley waiting to go in for her op


That beautiful happy sunshiny girl who went down for the surgery that day never quite came back to us. We had a brief period where her energy levels were back to what they were before the Fontan but she was quieter. Her voice had been affected by the various tubes – it never completely recovered. She found the winter hard and longed for spring. It seemed utterly cruel that spring held back on us, and finally appeared on the day Jessica died. I still remember how that felt like a slap in the face, adding to the devastation I already felt.


I have cried every day for the last six months. There are days when I feel so broken, I wonder if the pieces can ever be put back together. There are days when I just get on with life and wonder am I forgetting? Days when life with Jessica feels almost dream-like. Days when the memories are crystal clear and days when they are hazy and elude me. I long for signs, search for her in everything, desperately wanting to feel her near once more, to know that she hasn’t really left me.


And Sophie. My beautiful brave little Sophie. She is so very caring and compassionate. It feels so very unfair that she should have to cope with the loss of her sister when she is such a little girl. Will she remember Jessica as she grows up? Will she remember the fun they had, the wonderful bond they shared and how very much her big sister loved her? She is the bridge that connects Jessica and Thomas. Will she remember enough to tell Thomas about Jessica?


Sophie and Jessica having a hug


My beautiful big girl who lit up my world with her smile. Always here and yet never here. Six months has felt like a lifetime without her. I long for the moments when she visits me in my dreams just so I can be with her again. If only those dreams of being with her could be reality once more.





4 thoughts on “Grief and life after Jessica: Six months on

  1. Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it has been 6 months. Sending you a big hug. It does seem like a slap in the face that spring arrived on the day Jessica died. I am sure Sophie will remember Jessica. They were so close and I am sure Thomas will know all about his big sister. xxx

  2. Louise,

    Reaching these milestones can be so painful.
    It’s clear how much you love all three of your children.
    We aren’t going to forget Jessica, and we aren’t going to forget her family.
    I hope that the investigation at St Peter’s (mentioned on your other blog) does provide some answers to the questions that you’ve been asking yourselves, and that the team at Southampton can provide more information about the findings of Jessica’s post-mortem. Four months seems a long time to wait for the investigation to be completed, but I suppose there are procedures laid down that have to be followed rigorously.

    1. Thank you. Knowing that people won’t forget Jessica means a lot. It does seem a long time for the investigation but it is about all the procedures that need to be followed. I do hope we get some answers from it.

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