Remembering Jessica

Yesterday morning, a beautiful little girl was taken far too soon.

Jessica was the daughter of fellow blogger, Louise. Born with half a working heart, she had her first operation in the womb. She wasn’t expected to live long. But she did. There were many operations over the years. Jessica was a poorly little girl, sometimes a very poorly little girl.

The sort of illnesses that leave us poorly for a day or two or are sometimes little more than an inconvenience hit Jessica hard. Colds and viruses would leave her blue and breathless and would often result in a short hospital stay.

But Jessica lived life to the full.

And her mum documented it all in her beautiful blog, Little Hearts Big Love.

I didn’t read it every day, but I read enough to feel that I knew Jessica. And I knew how much joy she brought to her parents and her beloved little sister, Sophie. On Sundays, a lot of us bloggers post a single picture to sum up our week and most weeks Louise posted a picture of her two beautiful girls together. You could see from those pictures that the bond and the love between them was so strong. Those pictures always brought a big smile to my face.

Louise posted on Instagram too. Every day, an image of something she was grateful for. Over the last few months, she had been grateful for the care of some amazing doctors. Jessica had a major heart operation just after Christmas and recovery was slow. But she made it through.

I’ve said it, everyone has said it. Louise is amazing. We don’t know how she copes. But she always says she copes because she has to, anyone would do the same.

I never met Jessica, but I met Louise a couple of times. We sat next to each other in a drawing workshop at Britmums Live. For me, it was just a bit of fun, but for Louise it gave her the confidence to start illustrating her blog herself.

Over the last couple of weeks, Jessica had been struggling with one of those bugs. She’d been in hospital, but she was back out with a big bag of medication. Just on Friday, Louise posted a picture of Jessica’s dinner on Instagram, so happy that her poorly daughter had been able to finish it.

Then yesterday, I went onto Instagram to post a happy parkrun selfie and there was Jessica’s picture and the words that broke my heart. As ever, those words were beautifully written. ‘I am grateful for six and a half amazing years with this little girl… ‘

Jessica had passed away in the night.

I wrote a few words for Louise, but it wasn’t enough. I thought about Jessica all day and shed tears for her and her family. I talked to my husband and daughter about her.

Louise, being the incredible person she is, has already posted on her blog about that last terrible day. She thanked everyone for their kind words and said never to feel that you ‘don’t know what to say’. Because saying anything is better than nothing. She wants people to talk about Jessica.

Jessica brought so much joy to her family, but she also helped raised awareness of Congenital Heart Defects. Her family have been supported throughout Jessica’s life by a charity called Little Hearts Matter. Raising money for the charity in memory of Jessica is a great way to remember her. You can donate to the fund here.

Louise is a Christian and I know her faith will bring her a lot of strength in the weeks, months and years to come. I’m not really a believer myself, but I do believe that God and Jessica gave Louise a wonderful gift – Louise is expecting a baby in the summer, a little brother or sister for Jessica and Sophie.

Jessica was the last thing I thought of last night and the first thing I thought of this morning. So I decided I would do what Louise asked and talk about Jessica, although my words are perhaps less coherent than I wanted them to be.

‘When God takes you back, he’ll say hallelujah you’re home.’

Author: Sarah Mummy

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24 Comments

  1. Sarah, thank you for talking about Jessica and for writing such a beautiful post about her. Knowing that Jessica touched so many people’s hearts in her short life brings us some comfort. She was such a wonderful little girl and I will forever be grateful for the time I had with her and proud to be her mummy. Thank you so much for your kind words x

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    • You’re very welcome. I am heartbroken for you, she really was a special girl. Her joy and love shone through all of your posts about her. She touched a lot of lives and I wish she could have been around a lot longer for you and your family. x

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  2. I followed Jessica’s story too especially in the last year. I too was heartbroken for the family to see those words yesterday morning on instagram and I too shed a tear and thought about the family all day yesterday. Your post brought me back to tears, a beautiful tribute to a beautiful little girl and a wonderful family. Jessica will not be forgotten. X

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    • She really won’t be forgotten! She was a very special little girl and I think there were a lot of heartbroken people who read that sad news. x

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  3. I couldn’t stop crying yesterday. I felt like I knew Jessica through all of Louise’s blog posts too and I feel so sad for them all and Sophie especially. It’s amazing how a little person can touch so many x

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    • I loved seeing the photos of Jessica and Sophie together, they always seemed to have such a strong bond. I can’t stop thinking about Jessica and her family, she really did touch a lot of lives. x

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  4. What a lovely tribute Sarah xx Jessica was a beautiful little girl and Louise a well loved blogger. This seems to have really affected our community and it’s love to see so much support for Louise. xx

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    • Thank you! So many people cared for Jessica and followed her journey closely. It’s great to see the blogging community rallying round to support Louise at this terrible time. x

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  5. Oh wow this is so moving. What a wonderful family and a special little girl who clearly touched so many hearts in her short life. xx

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    • She really did. I was devastated to see the news and couldn’t stop thinking about her, so I wanted to do my little bit to remember her. X

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  6. Jessica was such an amazing girl….I cried too yesterday. She touched so many peoples lives.
    Beautifully written xxxx

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    • Thank you! I think so many people cried for Jessica. Her smile always made me smile. X

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  7. I have to admit to not having seen this blog, but such sad news to read.
    Jessica was obviously a well loved special little girl, sent to be remembered forever in what ever way her parents feel best reflects her life and the legacy she leaves behind.
    I totally relate to the “copes because she has to” as that daily life is normal to them,

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    • She was an amazing little girl with a beautiful smile and I’m sure a lot of us learned a lot about CHD through Louise’s blog. They are an amazing family who have already coped with so much. It’s awful that they now have to cope with their toughest challenge yet.

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  8. I’ve only read Louise’s blog a handful of times, but when I heard the news, I too had a little cry for her loss to her wonderful family

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    • I don’t think anyone could avoid crying about it. She was such a sweet little girl and the thought of what they’re all going through right now is too much to bear.

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  9. This was such a lovely thing to do Sarah. Such terribly sad news, I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through. Jessica was an incredible and inspirational little girl.
    Nat.x

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    • She really was! Her photos always brought a smile to my face because she always looked so happy. I can’t imagine what Louise and her family are going through either, I know I felt devastated and I’d never even met Jessica. I wanted to share that somehow and, when Louise said she wanted people to keep talking about Jessica, I thought I would share my thoughts here. I think I’ve even introduced Jessica to readers of my blog who don’t know Louise’s blog. x

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  10. I still can’t believe this happened. I can’t get my head around it, it is heartbreaking. Such a gorgeous girl and brought light to the world. xx

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    • That’s exactly how I feel! I can’t get my head round it either. When I first saw that photo on Instagram, I actually had to go back and check in case I’d made some sort of terrible mistake. Jessica just always seemed so happy and she was so loved by her family. I loved to see photos of her and Sophie together. x

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  11. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I’m stuck in the “just can’t find the right words” mode but you’ve written a really lovely post for her. xx

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    • Thanks very much. I had so many thoughts and so much I wanted to say (this isn’t all of my thoughts). As Louise said she wanted people to keep talking about Jessica, I thought I would share my thoughts. X

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  12. Sarah,

    I didn’t know the news about Jessica until this morning, when I saw Louise’s pinned tweet “Journey’s end” and instantly I knew this must be the best turn of events or the worst.
    I’m sure you’ve accurately summed up the thoughts and feelings of a lot of us who never met Jessica. Thank you for this blogpost — it’s a fitting tribute to Jessica and her family, and it’s also quite moving.

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    • Thank you. Learning of that news was such a terrible shock to so many people. Jessica really did mean a lot to many people and I can’t imagine what her family are going through now. I know Jessica will be remembered for a very long time, not just by her family, but by everyone who followed her story.

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