Grief and life after Jessica: two years on

Darling Jessica

Two years. How can it be two whole years since we last gave you a snuggle; since we last looked into your beautiful blue eyes and heard your sweet voice? Two years has felt like a lifetime without you. Each day taking us further away from our life with you. Sometimes I get scared that my memories of you are starting to fade a little; that I can’t quite grasp the ‘realness’ of life with you; how it felt to snuggle you. In those moments, I am so very thankful to have so many photos and videos of you, to help bring you back into sharp focus again. There are not enough of them; there will never be enough of them. But I have them, and my beautiful memories of you, and I hold on to them all so tightly.

 

Purple tulips at Jessica's forever bed - "Grief and life after Jessica: two years on"

 

Although today is the anniversary of your death, it was yesterday that was the harder day to bear. Yesterday – the anniversary of your last day on earth. All the memories of those last moments with you and that very last bedtime. I remember how you wanted me to carry you upstairs and I said no because you were heavy and I was pregnant with your little brother. I will always wish that I had carried you upstairs just that once as you wanted me to do. You were so tired. We were worried about you, but we thought that you just needed a few days of taking all the extra meds that had come home from the hospital with you the day before, and then you would be on the mend. And then our worst fears came true and you were gone.

 

Darling Jessica, I am so very thankful to have had you for six and a half amazing years. So thankful to be your mummy. Thankful for every single wonderful moment I got to have with you. And I hold on to the words you said to me shortly after you died, on one of your all-too-rare visits to my dreams when I held you and told you I wished that you were still here. I can still see your look of confusion as you turned to me and said “but Mummy, I am still here.” And whenever I feel that you are far away from me, those words come back into my mind.

 

Me and Jessica on a tube train

 

I find myself looking for little signs that you are still with us. And every so often, there they are. A dragonfly stopping to rest on Sophie’s sunhat at the Little Hearts Matter memorial service; a robin hopping on Daddy’s knee on Boxing Day; forget-me-nots appearing for the first time in the garden the day before Mother’s Day; your name written in the clouds. Today, the sunlight from the window created a heart-shaped patch of light on the carpet. I’ve never noticed it do that before. Another little sign from you, perhaps?

 

A heart-shaped patch of light on the carpet

 

Today we have tried to honour your memory by doing little things to give joy to others and #givejoyforjessica. You were such a little joy-carrier; you spread happiness wherever you went and it feels fitting that we should try to do the same to others in your memory. It’s been more challenging to do so this year with everyone staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, and social distancing being in force, but we managed it. Sophie and I had fun making and decorating some salt dough hearts and dropping them off to some of our friends. We were sent flowers in memory of you and a beautiful butterfly brooch to wear as a friend’s way of sharing joy in your memory. Knowing that other friends were wearing butterflies and thinking of you too meant a lot.

 

Seven colourful salt dough hearts painted with various designs

 

It was hard not being able to visit your forever bed at GreenAcres today. The team there placed some beautiful purple tulips in your vase and took some photos which they sent us. It meant a lot to know that someone stood there next to you and took a moment to think about you even though we were unable to do it ourselves.

 

It has been lovely to see all the little ways that other people have been sharing some joy in your memory. One phrase in particular has stuck in my mind: “Jessica’s smile is singing in the sunshine.” I shall think of that whenever the sun shines from now on, and picture you smiling your beautiful smile and hear your little voice singing in my mind.

 

Jessica and Sophie sitting on a ride-on bike together

 

Darling Jessica, thank you for every single wonderful moment that we had with you, and all the little signs that make me feel you are with me still. I love you more than words could ever say and I miss you every second of every day. I will keep trying to share the joy that you shared throughout your life; to keep your memory alive and to make sure that Thomas grows up knowing all about you. I will tell him how excited you were about having another sibling; how much you wanted a brother and how much you loved him before he was born. You will never be forgotten, my darling Jessica.

Love you millions and billions.

Mummy xxx

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