Life after child loss – Love lives on

Today is National Bereaved Parents’ Day – a day aimed at honouring bereaved parents from all walks of life, raising awareness and helping them realise they are not alone. National Bereaved Parents’ Day was started in 2020 by the charity, A Child of Mine, which helps support bereaved parents. The theme for this year is ‘Love lives on’.


A smiling Jessica and Sophie sitting on a toy trike together - "Life after child loss: Love lives on"


I’m now six years into my life as a bereaved parent. Six years of having to live without my beautiful daughter Jessica. Six years of living with grief and the constant ache for just one more moment with my beautiful girl. Six years of living life as a forever incomplete family. Six years of moments missed, milestones that have passed by and the endless secondary losses that come with life after child loss.


But love lives on.


Love lives on in my grief. It’s been a part of me for six years now. People sometimes say that they wish they could take the pain away. I wouldn’t want them to. My grief is part of my love for Jessica.  It might sound strange, but often in the moments when grief is at its strongest, I feel the closest connection to Jessica. Grief reminds me that she was here, that she is loved, that she matters. It isn’t right that she isn’t here. It will never be right that she isn’t here. And that hurts. It would feel so very wrong to me if it didn’t hurt.


But love lives on.


Love lives on in the beautiful memories that I have of Jessica. In the memories of her smile, of her laughter, of the joy that she brought wherever she went. I see her face in photos and hear her voice in video clips and it takes me back to those beautiful moments when she was here with us. If only I could step back into those moments and live them all over again.


Me sitting on a tube train cuddled up to a smiley Jessica


But love lives on.


Love lives on in the moments that Jessica’s siblings share together. I watch Sophie and see what a beautiful big sister she is to Thomas, and I see echoes of how Jessica was with her. I hear Jessica’s voice sometimes in the way Thomas will phrase something. I see how her memory lives on through the memories that Sophie shares. I see the love that Jessica shared with Sophie passed on between Sophie and Thomas. And even though Thomas never got to meet his biggest sister, she is part of who he is and how he sees our family. He talks about her, he asks about her and he has moments when he misses her. Moments when he wishes Jessica was with us still. For Sophie, there will always be moments when Jessica’s absence looms large. Jessica’s loss is felt in the milestones and the little moments that she would have shared with her sister.


Jessica standing in front of a brick wall with her arm around Sophie who is cuddling her


But love lives on.


Jessica might not be physically here but she is always with us. She is thought about and talked about every day. And while knowing that she is with us in our hearts will always feel like a poor substitute compared to having her with us in reality, it is what we have, and we are thankful for it. For all the beautiful memories that live in our hearts, all the moments that we had and the love that Jessica had for us, and that we had for her, which will always live on.


Thomas and Sophie sitting cuddled up together on the beach, holding a photo of Jessica

4 thoughts on “Life after child loss – Love lives on

  1. Love lives on in the hearts of all the people like me, who never actually got to meet Jessica but followed her story through your blog. I loved the photos of your girls in matching dresses, they were perfect sisters and always will be.
    You said that people say that they wished they could take the pain away, but I totally understand. Losing someone means that you are only left with the pain they are no longer here. You will always have the memories and joy they bring, but the pain is your physical connection to your lost one.

    1. Thank you Anne. Yes, that’s exactly it with the pain being the physical connection. I’m glad that Jessica lives on in your heart too.

  2. Sending love and hugs!
    When I think about grief I think of it as a bad thing but the way you have described it, feeling closest to Jessica and a reminder of her makes me think that it’s not all bad.
    I think about Jessica often even though I didn’t know her in person. She was such a special girl, always so happy. x

    1. Thank you Kim. Grief isn’t always a bad thing – it’s part of my connection to Jessica.

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