I feel like I say this at the end of every month, but it’s been an emotional month. I guess the emotional rollercoaster is now our normal in many ways; all the little milestones of family life are so very bittersweet.
We started off the month with a celebration: Thomas’s christening at our church. It was a wonderful day welcoming our beautiful boy into our church family but very bittersweet too. The last time many of our family and friends had gathered in our church was for Jessica’s funeral six months ago. I know it was hard for them for be there again. Like most things in our lives now, joy and pain go hand in hand.
Jessica is never far from our thoughts but we’ve been focusing on remembering her this month and trying to answer the questions that still remain about her death. We’ve had several meetings with the woodcarving studio who are creating her memorial and a meeting with Jessica’s consultant on Ocean Ward to discuss the post-mortem report. While we have no clear cause for Jessica’s sudden death, the meeting with the consultant was helpful for reassuring us that we did what we could. We can really only conclude that the viruses she had in the last few weeks in her life were just too much for her heart to cope with.
Saying goodbye to Ocean Ward was incredibly hard. It felt like saying goodbye to Jessica all over again. We could see her there so clearly – there were so many memories of our time there. The staff on Ocean Ward provided Jessica with such wonderful care and we always felt we were in very safe hands there. It was a big part of Jessica’s journey and will always hold a special place in our hearts.
The next few weeks are likely to be tough ones for us with the start of the festive season. We are preparing for our first Christmas with Thomas which should be a special time, but of course it is also our first Christmas without Jessica. In addition, it is also coming up to a year since her last surgery; a surgery that now feels like the beginning of the end. We have made plans to do Christmas differently this year and will be gentle with ourselves. Our plan is to focus on Thomas’s first Christmas as much as we can and try to make it a happy day for Sophie and Thomas. Our big girl will always be very much in our hearts and in our thoughts though.