April is a tough month for us with the first half of the month tinged with painful memories leading up to the anniversary of Jessica’s death. The day itself was easier than the days leading up to it, as it has been in the last two years too. We spent time with Jessica at her forever bed and focused on trying to do things to make others smile and #givejoyforjessica. My mum and one of my sisters surprised us by appearing at Jessica’s forever bed while we were there. It’s been seven months since we last saw my mum and to see her on that day meant so very much.
Family life without Jessica is forever incomplete but three years on we are learning to live alongside grief. Jessica is missed every second of every day but we do her best to carry her with us as much as we can. We often find ourselves wondering how a day out might look with Jessica still with us; what she and Sophie might have been doing together, or the way they might have interacted with Thomas as a pair of big sisters. Conversations that warm my heart and make it ache at the same time; that mixture of joy that Jessica is loved, remembered and talked about mixed with the pain and sadness that she is not here to experience those moments with us.
As I said in my post about evolving grief earlier this month, we live in the ‘in-between’ and the ‘not-quite’ and the ‘what-might-have-been’. There are moments of joy and beauty in the brokenness of life as a bereaved family. I’ll spend the rest of my life wishing that we could have had more moments with Jessica; that Sophie could have more memories of her and that Thomas could have had known his biggest sister, but we’ll do our best to enjoy the moments of family life that we do have and keep Jessica a part of it all.