May is an important month for birthdays. This month G turns 4 and Mr H turns 30. My sister and my nephew also have their birthdays this month.
But there’s another birthday this month, which will bring with it it’s usual ache in my chest and tears in my eyes. My beautiful cousin Jessica should be celebrating her 30th birthday on the 4th of May, but instead we will cry for her, laugh for her, remember her and honour her in the best ways we can. Because Jessie tragically lost her life to suicide and left such a hole in our family’s lives. A hole that will never heal, but that we learn to live with even if not by choice.
I will never stop cherishing the memories I have of Jessie’s infectious laugh or her exasperated sighs at me as we grew up. I will never forget her style and how she helped me find my own over the years. I’ll never forget the sleepovers in her bunk beds, the late night chats and the early mornings on holidays. Jessica, I’ll never forget your confidence and how I dreamed of being as sure of myself as you were of you. I will never forget how you’d roll your eyes at me when I said something babyish and embarrassing. But mostly I’ll never forget how you hugged me, and loved me and looked after me. I just wish I’d been able to do the same for you.
The worst thing about losing someone, is the split second you forget they’re gone. And the physical pain as your heart breaks all over again. All year round we miss the ones we’ve lost, but birthdays, anniversaries and holidays just hurt that little bit more.
My wonderful Aunty heads up events to make sure that Jessie leaves a legacy behind, to help those going through their own challenges with mental health and to try and stop another family hurting the way we do. Fundraising events to support the mental health charity MIND are set up in memory of Jessica, with this year being even more important to honour her would-be 30th.
A team of very brave people, two of which are also my cousins, will be cycling from London to Amsterdam at the end of this month, which has in turn created more events; raffles, bake sales, collections and concerts, to raise as much as we can throughout this year.
This post wasn’t supposed to turn into a plea for donations, it simply started as the late night out pourings if someone unable to sleep.
But if it can help even just one person turn for help, or help raise something so that the help is always there should they turn for it, then that’s just an added bonus.
There aren’t any words that can adequately describe the hurt and pain that you feel losing someone. Especially when they’re lost so young and with so many in answered questions.
Jessica, we love you and we always always will xxx
If you would like to donate and follow the progress of the cycling team you can get more information here