Me and Mine – March 2021

Three years ago today, we were off on holiday to the Isle of Wight, hoping that the break would be good for Jessica and that she would start to pick up again after struggling with energy levels and various viruses in the run-up to it. It turned out to be the last holiday we would ever have with her – two weeks later, she was dead. I still struggle looking back at the memories of that holiday – those last family photos of us together – so many last moments, the feeling of guilt that still haunts me from time to time that we didn’t do enough in those last weeks even though at the time we were back and forth to the doctors and spoke to the cardiac nurses during that holiday.

 

I try not to let the guilt get to me. We did what we thought was right at the time and no amount of wishing we’d done things differently will bring Jessica back to us. But this is a tough time of year as we come up to the anniversary of Jessica’s death and this third year feels just as hard as the first one did, to be honest.

 

Three years on, our family looks so different. Sophie is a year older than Jessica was when she died; Thomas, the brother Jessica never met, is growing from a toddler into a little boy. Watching the two of them together often reminds me so much of how the girls were together. I hear them giggling together, see little heads bent close together over an iPad and I see flashes of the girls as they were. I hear Jessica in the way Thomas says certain words and phrases; I see her smile in his cheeky grin. I watch him and I know that Jessica would have adored him and my heart aches for all the moments that she’s missed; all the moments that we’ve all missed.

 

(top-bottom) Hubby, me, Thomas and Sophie holding a picture of Jessica - "Me and Mine - March 2021"

 

Family life without Jessica here is forever incomplete. Forever wondering how things could have been; always being aware of that one person who is missing. We carry her with us; we include her photo in our family photos – but her absence is always a huge hole in our lives. It breaks my heart that Thomas will only ever know his biggest sister through photos and videos and the stories we tell and that while we continue to affirm that we are a family of five, we will never experience the reality of life as a family of five.

 

Three years on, life feels so very different from how it did on that day we headed off on holiday. We were blissfully unaware of how suddenly our lives could change, enjoying a normality that we took for granted. Three years into life as a bereaved parent and a year into living through a pandemic, we’ve learned just what a gift normality really is. All those little family moments that we once took for granted; being able to spend time with our extended family. It’s been six months now since I last saw my family and much longer since I was able to hug any of them. What I wouldn’t give at times to be able to step back into those past moments – if only for a short time – just to be able to be with those I love and miss; just to be able to have moments with Jessica again.

 

In the meantime though, we’ll just keep moving forward as best we can. Holding on to hope, holding on to our precious memories and trying to be thankful for the moments we have now.

 

Hubby (holding Thomas), me and Sophie (holding a photo of Jessica) out in the garden

6 thoughts on “Me and Mine – March 2021

  1. This time of year must be so hard for you. Sending love and hugs and thinking of you as always. Jessica would have loved having a little brother, Thomas does sound like the best one and it’s a shame he never got to meet Jessica.
    Gorgeous photos and beautiful words x

    1. Thank you Kim. Jessica would have absolutely adored Thomas and been such a wonderful big sister to him. It is a tough time of year but we’re getting through as best we can x

  2. I don’t think you should feel guilty. Even had you been at home the outcome could still have been the same. In some ways at least Jessica had one last holiday and some enjoyment. To say I’m so sorry for your loss doesn’t quite sound enough.

    1. Thank you Claire. I’ve mostly made peace with the guilt and reminding myself that the outcome may have been the same even if we’d been in hospital at the time although this time of year it does rear it’s ugly head a little more. I am glad that we did have that last holiday with Jessica and to know that there were moments that she really did enjoy even if she wasn’t well that week.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I do love how you have managed to include Jessica in your family though and keep her spirit and memory alive through family photos and stories. #MMBC

    1. Thanks Joanne. It’s so important to us to keep her very much a part of our family life as much as we can.

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