November has gone by in a bit of a blur. One of those months of juggling an ever-increasing to-do list, grabbing moments of family time in between work, school and the various activities that are part of the weekly routine. Family time in November has been all about the little moments. Mornings when Sophie and Thomas have both climbed into our bed for snuggles. An afternoon spent flying kites at the park. Saturday nights spent watching Strictly with Sophie and Thomas dancing along just like Jessica and Sophie used to do.
There have been a few special moments in amongst all the hustle and bustle. Watching Sophie playing Tinkerbell when her drama group performed Peter Pan on stage at the Christmas lights switch-on. A quiet moment at Jessica’s forever bed watching a deer come up and munch on her flowers. Seeing my poem and Jessica’s photo printed in a book of poems by bereaved parents. Thomas bringing home his first pieces of artwork from preschool. Little magic moments.
As always, moments of joy are interwoven with moments of grief. There are many moments when smiles come with a side order of tears. Sophie singing “When I Grow Up” with her drama group brought so much pride but it came with sadness that growing up is something that her sister has been denied. Listening to Thomas chatting away and hearing Jessica in the way he says things. So beautiful to be able to close my eyes and be transported back in time but heart-breaking at the same time.
The festive season can be a difficult time to navigate. I’m aware that I need to allow space for Jessica too in amongst the busyness; to allow myself to fully feel the ache of her loss and sit with my grief when I need to. Making space for all the emotions of the festive season – embracing the joy and the magic and acknowledging the sadness.
November has been a month of feeling like there aren’t quite enough hours in the day and once again our family photos have been hastily grabbed towards the end of the month. A selection of imperfect, somewhat grainy photos, with the odd silly face thrown in. This is us, doing our best to make the most of the little moments, and carrying Jessica with us wherever we go.