I will never ever be able to feel that any good came of Jasper’s death, but instead I choose to see all the good his life has brought, and this is something that I’ve needed to remind myself as we approach Jasper’s first birthday.
I knew the run up to his birthday would be tough, but it has affected me differently to how I had anticipated. Although I’ve always acknowledged that what we experienced was traumatic, I had never felt truly traumatised by what happened. I’ve always thought this was on account of the truly amazing care we had on the day Jasper arrived as well as following his death. The strange thing is, lately, I have felt my subconscious mind and body take over, as if to suddenly make me aware of the enormity of what happened and I have had moments of feeling completely traumatised. I keep telling people that I can’t believe it has been a year, but the truth is that what I have felt is a little different to just feeling that the year had passed by at an unbelievable speed. I have, in fact, at times been transported back to how I felt just hours and days after losing Jasper and have felt as if I were physically there in that moment and that the year gone by had just been a dream. I’ve been present in body but my mind was transported back to the awful time a little under a year ago, and I’ve really felt like I was reliving it. It is in attempt to wake myself up from this ‘dream’ and remind myself that this year has in fact existed and that we have lived it, that I have reflected on everything that has happened this year since the day we said hello and good bye to our beautiful boy. In doing so, I have once again been blown away by all the kindness we have experienced from so many this year.
Most parents will agree, I’m sure, that when you have a child, your life is devoted to your child, and it is no different for us having lost our only son. Everything we have done has been because of Jasper or for Jasper. There have also been times I’ve felt like fate has lead us to different people or experiences and I call all such moments ‘Jasper Magic’. Jasper has lead us to some amazing people, taken us on truly magical adventures, shown us some breath taking views and we have experienced so much love and kindness from so many people. All of this, I like to believe, isn’t because he died but because he lived and that is perhaps why we want so much for tomorrow to be a celebration of his life rather than a day to be sad about his death. On Sunday, we will be joined by friends and family to walk the Black Mountains to raise more funds for a charity that is close to our hearts, and for us, that’s the perfect way to celebrate.
I’ve always said that I’m unlucky in not having a faith in the traditional sense. I respect and admire those who have a strong religious faith and perhaps envy them at times for the strength and comfort it brings them, but it is still not something I can relate to and I have struggled to identify what it is that I have ‘faith’ in. A very kind and wise friend said to me a few months ago, that although he knew that I felt unlucky in not having a faith, he saw faith shining through in what I say and do. He said he saw that I have faith in people, the universe, the nature around us and in the future. I think this has been one of the most powerful things anyone has ever said to me and it has been etched in my mind. So now, I say with confidence that I may not have faith in the religious sense but that I have faith in people and in the love and kindness they show and this year has been a true reflection of that. Every message or kind words we received, every time we received a picture from various locations around the world of Jasper’s name gracing the landscape, the thoughtful gifts and gestures to remember Jasper and all the love and support you have shown us has helped us navigate this journey, so thank you all for the part you have played in that. You have all helped us in your own way and we are ever so grateful. We have been shown so much love and kindness that the pictures I share here are a mere snapshot but they are all things we cherish along with Jasper’s memory.
This is by no means the end of the journey and our loss is something we will forever be learning to live with, but we hope that we will forever find moments of ‘Jasper Magic’.