I thought perhaps I wouldn’t want to share a Me and Mine post this month. Our family has been forever shattered with the loss of Jessica. However, this project has been wonderful for making sure that those family moments with the four of us together were captured. For four years, we had at least one photo of us all together. Four years of capturing precious moments – family days out, holidays or just ordinary moments being together at home. We are still a family, albeit one that will forever be incomplete, and Sophie deserves to have family moments captured too. Because of this, I am going to continue taking part in this project.
May has been very much about saying goodbye to Jessica. The first half of the month was focused on making arrangements for her funeral service. The celebration of her life at church was everything we wanted it to be. It was a beautiful service where so many lovely memories of Jessica were shared and we felt surrounded by love in the midst of our heartbreak at having to say goodbye.
Two days later, we met with other bereaved families for the Little Hearts Matter memorial event at the National Memorial Arboretum, where we hung a heart in a tree in memory of Jessica. It was a very raw and emotional event for us, but it was helpful too to be able to talk to other families and to share memories of our children.
The last couple of weeks have been tough ones as we begin the process of learning to live our lives without Jessica, now that we no longer have the focus of planning her funeral. Having to accept that she has gone is the hardest thing we have ever had to do and every day we rebel against it, wishing desperately that we could just wake up and find this has all been a terrible dream. We are very much taking everything moment by moment. Some moments are easier than others. We have moments where we smile and laugh and feel that we are coping and others where the longing for Jessica is unbearable.
Sophie has been a little ray of sunshine on the whole. She has started to talk more about Jessica recently and has slept in Jessica’s bed most nights since Jessica passed away. There are moments when she tells us she misses Jessica and has a big cry. More often, her grief comes out in pushing boundaries, or being angry, or just being more subdued and clingy. We are helping her through as best we can although it is not easy when trying to navigate our own grief journey too.
Jessica is, and will always be, a part of our family even though she is no longer physically with us. This month’s photos taken at the Little Hearts Matter memorial event reflect that. We will always have the beautiful memories of her; the photos and the video clips that we captured and we will carry her in our hearts wherever we go.