Aria’s blog - Aria MacDonald

Aria’s blog

(A few people have asked for our address. We are currently without fixed address but anything you might want to send us can be sent to:
Hamish and Anita MacDonald
c/o 15b Laurie Avenue

Hi everyone.

Not entirely sure what to say except we are undecided about what to do with this blog.  Right now we are going to keep it going and perhaps share the mysterious and difficult grieving process.

Hamish and I arrived back to NZ and were excited to connect with friends and get back into life.  Well actually I was excited and a few people said ‘aren’t you going to take a break?’ To which I said ‘Nah I am fine- lets get on with it’  Unfortunately that all can crashing down last week most unexpectedly and I am now typing this blog post from the beautiful and completely amazing Red Beach.  The KIDS foundation, who have supported us so generously, have a holiday home there and so here we are.

So to all the people who we had to cancel with last week and to all the people ready and waiting to meet up with us- Thank you!  But we just need more time.  We were so happy to see lots of people at Aria’s funeral from all realms of life, new friends, old friends, work friends, school friends.  We want to see you and we need to see you but we just need more time.

Life is suddenly strange and emotional.  We spent 5 years carefully managing our emotions and making sensible decisions.  Now I can’t even decide what to have for dinner.  Much less decide what to do with our house in Manurewa or how to manage this new life.

We are grieving for our daughter whom we miss desperately.  We are grieving for our friends in Omaha who we miss.  We are grieving the loss of relationship from the medical staff whom we grew to love and trust (both countries have been hugely supportive but we know things are different now and what does that mean?)  We are experiencing culture shock.  We are establishing new bonds with family and friends or at least trying too.

We haven’t lost faith in God but it is taking a huge beating.  We are learning to view God for who HE is not thru the eyes of parents whose child is now heaven side.  He will overcome, not worry.

Aria was an amazing girl.  Trying to unravel her from this journey has been difficult.  I don’t feel like we have done a great job at that.  But we will think of ways to communicate and pay tribute to her fight in time.  There is more to come.

I said this at the funeral and I will say it again- please reach out to us.  Please don’t just read this and forget about us or Aria.  Some will I guess and that it part of putting your life on the internet for all to read, it is easy to read this and forget we are real people.  But most won’t and for everything past and present, thank you.

90 Responses to “Aria’s blog”

  1. Yvonne RRN says:

    Glad to hear you up at Red Beach, it is lovely there even tho it is winter! A well desersed break for you.
    Don’t rush into the ‘decisions of your new life’ they will take time & TIME is what you need most right now.
    I doubt that many will ever forget you as sweet Aria was an inspiration to all & you, her supportive family have left such a deep impression in our hearts…or at least I speak for myself.
    Altho this is Aria’s blog, sharing your grief is all part of the process & the continuing story of this super wee girl.
    Forever remembered

  2. Nicole says:

    Love you guys. Take all the time you need. We’re all here for you when you need us. We’ll never forget

  3. Ruth says:

    Hi Anita,
    It was such a blessing for Lucy and I to be able to come to Aria’s funeral! We feel so priviliged to be a small part of your lives and would love to see you guys again too. Hope you are enjoying some rest at Red Beach. Thinking of you xxx

  4. Mirren says:

    Glad you can take some time out to regroup a bit. We are still praying for you! May God give you the rest and the peace that you need.

  5. Robin says:

    I am fairly new to your blog, but even in the short time that I have been reading I came to love and admire Aria. You, your husband and son need time to grieve, but we will help you through that if you let us.
    Always love and prayers,

  6. Lauren says:


  7. Deborah says:

    Funny you posted today as i was just this morning wondering how you were. I know its a strange feeling getting on with life after losing someone but dont rush and take some time for you and your family. You are definitley still in my thoughts.

  8. Karyn Cray says:

    I am here and listening …. it is understandable all the feelings you are going through. I live in Whangaparaoa, and my kids go to Red Beach School. You are in a beautiful place, lots of lovely beaches to walk along and reflect, I think about Aria every day.

    Thank you for posting, enjoy your wee holiday – one day at a time, you have both been through so so much. I hope Asher is doing ok too xx, I often think how different it must be for him.

    Take care xx

  9. LeeAnne says:

    OOOHHHH (((((Anita & Hamish))))) so wish we could have met, so wish I could put my arms around you and tell you how very sorry I am for the gut wrenching, heart breaking, life altering loss. I can only imagine how life has suddenly warped into some new and different place with a hole in your universe where that precious, complicated, beautiful, adorabe little girl once lived.. I can only imagine and in doing so weep at the magnitude of the pain you must be facing. God has HUGE shoulders…I am sure He understands all the questions, anger, loss and pain… Thank you for posting and sharing and opening your lives and hearts to us .. Please know you remain in my thoughts and prayers …Wish there were more I could do. God Bless and please know there is nothing wrong with taking this new journey at your speed, in your way at yor time..there is no right way to grieve this loss. HUGS and continued prayers for your solace,
    Love, LeeAnne, Sammi and family~ New Jersey, USA

  10. Kenda says:

    Dear Anita, Hamish and Asher,
    I am someone who has followed Aria’s Blog for a long time and only left a few comments over the years. I want you to know that I am still thinking of you all. You are all still part of my daily thoughts, wondering how you are, how you are coping? How completely strange this new way of living must be for you. I have no advice for you as how to go on, other than to think about Aria and how happy she made you and how much she loved you! I watched Aria’s service on the internet. It was lovely. I sometimes feel uncomfortable knowing and feeling so much for your family as I am a stranger to you. But please just know that I care, I loved the way your family loved and cared for Aria. You are brave, loving and though you will not feel it, you are strong. Aria was a very lucky girl to have you in her corner. You are lucky to have experienced Aria’s Love.
    Take your time grieving and love each other!

  11. Tiffany Keller says:

    Of course you need time to grieve & have a break. I would like to reach out to you & your family. You are always in my prayers! May God give you strength, peace & comfort as you go through this very emotional & difficult time! I hope we (your friends & family) will be able to encourage you & help you, in any way we can! May God Bless you!

  12. Kiwi Hannah says:

    Much love and prayer for you all. Remembering Aria xx

  13. Genevieve says:

    I’ve been thinking of you guys too. Good to hear you are having a break. I can’t even imagine what it must be like now trying to establish what life will be, I can only guess that time is what you are going to need. Take all the time you need, I’m sure people fully understand. I can also imagine what beating your faith must have taken and be taking. As someone more distant from the raw emotions believe me when I say I truly believe that He has and will be using Aria for so much good. You possibly have no idea how much your faith has touched me and I bet I’m not alone in that! I’m quite sure it’s not what He would have loved for her life but I’m sure He has found the good in all the pain. I hope that makes sense!

    Love to you guys. xxx

  14. Samantha Sutherland says:

    I really feel for you both. You are in unchartered territory and it must feel so out of control and crazy right now. Only time will help you see your way clearly and you won’t know how long that time will be until it happens. I honestly don’t know how you will get through this grief, but I know you will and that one day you will see where you are heading again. You have a gorgeous wee boy who will help you live again in a less painful way because he is such a bouncing bean of joy. I miss you but I understand if seeing us is too much for you. Take care of yourselves. Love xxx

  15. Leticia says:

    Dear Anita, Hamish, and Asher,

    I am so glad you have taken a break. When my son died my husband and I took of straight after the funeral and went to our special space on the West Coast of the South Island. We spent a couple of months there just being.
    You are such a special family who deserve the time to find yourselves again. Please know my wee family prays whole heartedly for you and should you ever feel the need to explore the lower parts of our beautiful country, there is always a bed and place for you in our home. Much Love and Gods Blessings

  16. Rod & Margaret says:

    Great to see this post Anita as we have been thinking of you all a lot lately. Every thought and feeling you have expressed is understandable. Please do continue to write as and when you feel to – friendships forged during great adversity are always the strongest.
    Much love from us both

  17. Ali Daldy says:

    I would never be able to forget such a wonderful family.

  18. Yvonne says:

    Hi Anita
    Just wondering if you saw the blog on Aria’s site on facebook, the one that gave us the link to the live streaming… there is a lady on there who is walking the walk that you walked with Aria.. her story really touched my heart when i read what an impact your blog has made in her life….

  19. Pip says:

    Anita, Hamish and Asher. We have never met in real life – like so many people who have been touched by Aria. I think about you all so often and this has not changed at all. Please take all the time you need for yourselves right now, after all you are the ones who matter. I look forward to maybe one day meeting you all, but for now it is enough that you are just letting us know that you need time for you. Much love, thoughts and prayers. Arohanui.

  20. Heather says:

    Dearest Anita & Hamish,
    You have always seemed so articulate and reflective about what you have been experiencing and feeling. I’ve admired the strength you have both shown as parents to get up and keep going, taking turns, and staying focused on your roles as parents. Each time you have done what you have had to do.
    I’ve never written a message before, sorry. I’ve felt so privileged to share in your journey most days, thank you. I was so excited to see an email to say there was a message on Aria’s blog today :)
    I look forward to meeting you one day, I know it will happen as our life circles connect, and then I will be able to share with you how you’ve had such an influential impact on my parenting and family life.
    There are no words to ease your pain, or even begin to understand the grief on so many levels you are experiencing at the moment. I’m just imagining the ‘footprints’ story as you rest at Red Beach…

    Footprints in the Sand

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
    Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

    This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
    “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
    Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

    The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

    Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson

  21. Dornae says:

    I have been following Aria’s life since the beginning. You guys, as parents are such an inspiration, I dont know how you have had the strength to do all you have done. One day at a time.

    Love to you guys
    Dornae, Hayden & Darius

  22. Lou says:

    Love you guys lots! I’m looking forward to spending time with you but you need to take time out for now for yourselves. I pray for you every morning and love you heaps. Will be thinking of you while I’m away and looking forward to seeing you when you are ready. Much love xxx

  23. Angie says:

    Aria meaing solo melody.

    She spent five difficult years on this earth. She was in the hospital for transplants, infections, rejections, and many viruses and bugs. She had a beautiful SMILE, a kind and compassionate heart, and was just radiating HIS love inside and out. She shined; she lit the sky with her sweetness. May we never forget her. May her smile shine on forever in our heart, mind, and soul.

    Aria a beautiful butterfly flying freely in heaven healed, laughing, and smiling.

    Thinking and Praying for you all!

  24. Lisa Robertson says:

    As much as we came to love Aria, we came to love you all – there is no way our family could forget you guys – or little Miss Aria!!
    Much love to you – still very much in my thoughts at this time. Lis xxxxx

  25. Angela Robinson says:

    Thank you for again sharing what’s in your head and heart, Aria was an amazing girl yes but she got this from what I believe are amazing parents. You have shared your deepest thugs and feelings with us all and I have learnt so much from you as much as my meeting Aria that one brief time. I am in the hibiscus coast and if you need meals or anything, would love to help in any way so please email if I can be of any help. Thank you for sharing Aria with us, attending her funeral was a real honor, I have shared what a beautiful service it was with many who I know followed her story. As we say in new Zealand Kia kaha.

  26. Joan Marshall says:

    Glad you are taking time for yourselves and it will take time Anita. You can’t do all you have and not crash sometime. I DO hope you keep the Blog going as I feel I’ve shared so much with you for so long and I would miss you. It was so good to see in my In Box that your website was up again, so if you are able, please do stay with us. Warm fuzzies as usual! :-)

  27. Lisa says:

    You guys haven’t failed and you won’t be forgotten

  28. Lyaine says:

    Dear Anita,Hamish and wee Asher. It has been a priviledge to share this journey. Take all the time you need, We are here to hear you and be your sounding board as you go through this most painful of times.Know that you are often in my thoughts and prayers. It is time to take time for yourselves right now. However I do believe that Aria’s journey will continue to touch people in ways that we cannot comprehend this side of eternity and that God will show you what to do when the time is right and you are ready for the next stage of your lives. all my love Lyaine.

  29. Fiona McNair says:

    Hello – I am so pleased yo have decided to keep going with your blog, even though I don’t know you I feel I have been a part of your life for the past couple of years or however long it has been. I wasn’t ready to just end all of this because Aria has gone to heaven, I find mysaeld wandering alot of the time how you are all coping with this. Often at the times when you are so busy in and out of hospitals you don’t have the time to think about yourselves and what you are going through. This will be a challenging transition time for you all. Time fortunately is a great healer. As always go well and take good care of yourselves. Have you got employment to go back too or do you have to find new jobs??

  30. Fiona McNair says:

    myself wondering I meant

  31. fiona says:

    The changes you guys have to adapt to are HUGE. Not “just” losing a child- but losing a child whose situation as enveloped everything about your life for 5 years. Don’t rush yourselves- take all the time you need- and don’t beat yourselves up when you are going along nicely and then have a ‘downer’- its bound to happen. Lots of love and blessings

  32. Samantha says:

    So good to hear from you, Anita. You are all constantly in my thoughts and prayers. It’s a normal process you’re going through and you must allow yourselves the time to feel what you need to feel and work through all the emotions. Please do keep the blog going and write only when you can as we love hearing from you and, having followed Aria’s life on here since the start of the blog, we feel ‘connected’ to you if that makes sense. Love and strength to all of you and may God continue to carry you all in this difficult time. Xxx

  33. chrissy Hallberg says:

    Hi Anita and Hamish,have never beento red beach,but will put it in my wish bag.Please just relax,try not to be brave,just be You and things will work out o.k in the end,its a long trip grieving,do it slowly,love to your little man and to wee aria xxxxx

  34. Alison says:

    We love you, and we’re here for you when you’re ready.


  35. Josie says:

    You guys are so special to us, when you were a ‘foursome’ you were so dear to us, and now that you are 3, even more so – through you we were so blessed to know aria, and now through you Aria’s memory and legacy will live on…Aria will always be in our hearts and mind. Never forget that we will always be your friends and be here in whatever capacity you need us to be.
    Know that it is ok to take all the time you need to ‘just be’, time for restoration and renewal, and time to learn how to live this new life, and find a place. You will always have a place with us. We Love you xxx

  36. gillian livemore says:

    Hi Anita, i am a friend of Josie wall and i have been following your blog for a few years now. i lost my brother and all i know is that it is soooo important to stay close to people when your ready. like you say you dont want people to forget as its easy for everyone to just carry on but for you life has changes. you do see god in a different way as life has changed and you think differently about things but still love the same God. finding God in different ways is good. i took photos of creation which god helped me with. all i can say is that in the hardest times i know god id near but its hard.. lots of prayers for you xx

  37. jeannie overall says:

    so glad you are taking some much needed, deserved and essential ‘time out’ or ‘time apart’-you have to grieve in your own way and we understand that-please don’t forget that you ARE human!!!!!and have the same frailties as we all do-so don’t ever feel you are doing anything wrong or not doing enough-God’s plan for your life is still in His hands and in His time-don’t try to work it all out until He shows you – just let His Holy Spirit hold you close and comfort you for now-I have a delightful picture of Aria on my wall and my little grandaughters always read what I have written on it and talk about Aria with me-her legacy lives on in our lives. God bless you heaps as you relax and rest-Love, Jeannie

  38. Moya says:

    Hello gorgeous family. I can only ‘ditto’ most of what most have already said on here. It’s whole new life for you now & Aira will ALWAYS be a part of that. I look forward to getting to know you better when you feel like branching out. Take your time, we’ll still be here for you.

    Christine – if you are reading this – The first Wednesday after work you have free – just let me know. We need a hug, a drink and a natter! M x

  39. Kylee Black says:

    praying for you guys <3 <3 <3

  40. Olivia(Wellington,NZ) says:

    Hi Anita, I am privileged to of had my tribute read at Aria’s service. Although not there in person I watched as did many others online and I am so thankful for that. Thank you for sharing Aria with us all. As I said in my tribute I have prayed for your family for 3 years now and you are still part of my prayers each and every night. God bless you, Hamish and your beautiful little boy, Ashie while your darling angel now watches over you all.I pray for these days, weeks, months and years ahead and know you will have the strength to get through it all.

  41. Vikki Bland says:

    Take lots of time dear anita and hamish. There is so much for you to process and recover from. We will not forget Aria ever, nor you. I prayed the other day that you would continue to blog and here you are. We care for you and love you and we are always so very happy to hear from you. May you rest now and go slow. And go forward supported by those who love you. X

  42. Linda Crosbie says:

    Dear Anita, Asher and Hamish. So pleased you have the place in Red Beach to take some time out for you and not to be on a time schedule. You need the time just to be at one with yourself, to cry, to sleep, to think, to plan when you are ready. This time may feel surreal or confusing. Just give into it so you can start to renew and start to feel more energised in time. We are here for you when you are ready. Much love.. Xxxx

  43. iliganoa says:

    Love you always and praying for you love Noa

  44. Rochelle says:

    As I read all the above comments tonight and your heartfelt message the tears flow freely. I have never messaged you before but I have followed you and your family for the last two years. There have been many times I have thought to say things but haven’t for reasons I cannot explain. But I tell you this, I have thought of you every day and your journey and the fight your dear little girl gave, I think of the wonderful friendships you made in America through a negative situation and the adjustments you must make now not seeing those special friends/doctors and nurses that you grew to love and trust – that is a loss in itself. I think of the deep gap you now have without Aria. I want you to know the day of Aria’s funeral my little girl was covered head to toe in purple, my son had an orange shirt on and I wore pink lipstick and a pink scarf.Living in Wellington going to Kindy, going to school and going into the CBD I saw LOTS of pink, purple and orange and I knew who it was for :) and smiled to myself through the tears. Know through the postings here the love that everyone has for you and your family – those you know and strangers too. Just breathe and be – with much love Rochelle

  45. Lois says:

    Many of us don’t know you personally but each of us has been touched by Arias life in various ways, All of you have left an impression on me and on my life. I know this must be so for so many others. God has given you the strength to pick up this blog and again share your heart. Be encouraged that many of us were watching and waiting to read whatever you can as you give yourself time. So glad that you are having a time of “time out” and for each other. One day at a time and one foot in front of the other are two sayings that I have often thought of when I have been reading this blog and Our God will continue to walk each day and each footstep with you even though your faith has taken a beating. Continuing to pray that faith & strength will be restored.All our love to each of you and I hope one day we may meet and know you personally.

  46. lisa says:

    Dear Anita
    Thank you for writing a blog. I have been wondering how you and Hamish and Asher and your extended family are. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day. You will never be forgotten, nor will Aria. Even though I am a stranger to you, you have become important in my life through this blog. Aria has impacted my life hugely. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Take all the time you need. Please keep in touch via the blog. I hope one day I can meet you personally. Love and prayers to you all. Lisa

  47. Delwyn Cockrell says:

    Dear dear Hamish and Anita. So wonderful to hear from you and know how to pray for you. Be assurred you were upheld before the throne of Grace at Covenant Church today, and are always in the prayers of many day by day. Praying God will richly bless you as you take this time together, and show you the best way forward from here. Love from Bill and Delwyn and our extended family.

  48. Liz Smith NZ says:

    I have thought of you often in the past two weeks. Now I find that you are staying at Red Beach, where my son lives with his partner and my 2 beautiful grand daughters. I visit there often, of course. Maybe our paths will cross unknowingly! I will visit there next weekend for my grand daughter’s 6th birthday. I will pause in that happy celebration to remember Aria.
    Take your return to ordinary life slowly.

    With love

  49. christine mabon says:

    Dear Hamish, Anita, and Asher, We can not even begin to understand how you feel at present, but our family would like to take the time to say that you are very much in our prayers. We have followed your journey through the blog over the last few years and have been deeply moved by your honesty, courage, faith and love. Time is what it takes to heal and gather strength, and we are glad that you have a place to be able to take some time out and feel your sadness. The culture shock will ease as time goes on, and your friends will always be friends (skype is a wonderfull thing.
    Please know that there are many people who you will never meet, that pray for your family. God Bless all three of you, rest, eat plenty and most of all know that God is being the footprints in the sand as said above. xxxx

  50. Renee says:

    Dear Anita, Just like many writing on your blog, I too have never met and perhaps may never meet you. But I have been check
    ing this blog daily and so glad that you are still prepared to let us share in your grief. Parting especially death brings about a grief that only the bearer knows of the intensity. I lost someone dear a year ago and my whole the whole of last year was filled with memories and sadness, of things I could’ve done better. You have done your best for Aria so in that regard you can rest easy. I pray for your family every time I am in the presence of the Lord in prayer. Be assured there are many of us holding you in their personal prayer. And God im His goodness will fill your hearts with peace. It’s not going to be easy for a long time to come but take one day at a time and be gentle on yourselves. God bless.

  51. Belinda (LF-Aus) says:

    Anita Hamish and little Asher, I will never forget sweet Aria and her beautiful smile. xxx
    I have been checking your blog daily and I am so happy that you are going to keep writing in it Anita. I have a liver kid and I have drawn so much strength from you Anita, EVERY day with him is a good day :)
    Aria will NEVER be forgotten by many many people as she touched many many hearts. Thank you so much for sharing her with us. xxx

  52. H Wilkie says:

    Isn’t if funny, that we don’t even know each other and I feel like i do know yous! Everyday I would check in on “my lil Aria” see how she was going. You wrote so beautifully so I felt such a part of her life. When she died, I think I was even more upset than the passing of a very dear friend, I guess it was her being young and the battles she fought!! How could I forget Aria and her beautiful whanau, I too have drawn strength from your journey and happy to see you writing in. Always in my prayers Anita, Hamish and Asher xx

  53. Chontelle says:

    Hi Guys,
    you dont know me either but i guess you get that a lot. i do however remember meeting Aria when Josie brought her to play group & remember falling in love with her immeadiately. I was very blessed to be able to come to her funeral & thank you for allowing many of us untouched people to be able to celebrate her life with you all.

    From what i know & have read & seen she had an amazing faith that i know will live through you all. I can only begin to imagine what it is like to loose one of your wee babes but i do know about God & how he always pulls through for us.

    I can imagine how hard it is to write on here now but do appreciate that you allow us to help you through the grieving process & know from personal experiences that writing can help with that as well as anything else.

    I hope that we can be here for you just as you were for Aria & that you allow us to continue to share with you & support you just as you helped her through her pain.

    Take care & dont forget that there are many people who love you & care about you all very much.

  54. Wanda Vermeer says:

    Don’t push yourselves to “get back to normal”. It won’t ever be nornaml, but will be livable again. Just hang in there, take each day as it comes and let God do the healing. We will still be praying for you.

    Granny Wanda in Arkansas

  55. Sherry Boyle says:

    Aria has touched my life deeply. Although I never got to meet her on earth, your little girl has made me appreciate life and good health more than ever before. She has helped me to have more patience with my little grandchildren and to hold them close, realizing that we never know what the next day may bring. Life is such a precious gift from God, and because of what Jesus did for us, we get to live eternally with Him. One day you will be in heaven with Aria and Jesus, living joyfully forever and ever. That I know and believe. Lifting you up to Him until that time, Sherry Boyle

  56. EVE GILKES says:

    Dear Anita, Hamish and Asher,
    Can never thank you enough for sharing your journey with Aria’s life, with us. I shall never fully understand what you have been through, as I have never been there, and pray to God that I won’t. You were blessed with Aria, what an amazing beautiful girl. I can’t begin to imagine what you are going through now and will for some time to come, BUT WHAT I CAN DO, IS CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOU, thank God. I place you fairly and squarely in God’s hands because there is no better place to be. How is Asher?
    Thank you, that you are continuing with this page, we need to come down, like you, from the roller coaster ride that you have been on for so long with Aria.
    I have never met you, most likely never will this side of heaven, but I love you, and send all good wishes and prayers for your return to full ‘health’.
    God bless you

  57. Tina Coleman says:

    Oh Anita,
    I read this with tears streaming down my face. We will most definately keep praying for you guys. I’ve never lost a child before, just a parent and inlaws, I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. I told Bridgette it was the strangest thing–I’ve never even met you personally and yet you and your family seem like such a part of mine! Strange how the internet works–draws people together who may never meet this side of heaven. But it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share your thoughts and feelings–the good, the bad, the ugly, the not knowing–and know there are hundreds and maybe even thousands who read this and are praying for you. We will look for ways to honor Aria and her memory. She was a very special little girl who touched SO many lives. Just hang in there–I think time will make it a little easier–just take it slow and keep your eyes on God. I remember when my dad died I just wanted to go somewhere and scream–until I was hoarse–such a helpless feeling, but thank God I had friends and family praying for me. It does help. I can’t imagine what people do who have no faith–crazy!
    Much love coming your way! Prayers too!
    Tina :)

  58. Carolyn O'Cain says:

    Will surely be praying for you all as you grieve. The Lord is faithful and He really will carry you through all of this in His perfect timing and way. I miss Aria too and have a hole in my heart for her. Showers of the Lord’s greatest blessings to each of you. Peace and grace…
    In His mighty love,
    Carolyn O’Cain

  59. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    I think your thought “not sure what to do with this blog” has been answered. It is a 21st century way of keeping in touch emotionally and spiritually with many,many people.
    Rest, relax and give yourselves time.
    Sometimes grieving people feel guilty when they laugh or feel happy. (As if it wasn’t proper. )That is a lie. Just think how deriously happy Aria is now. She would be sad and surprised to think you were unsure of her total well being.Believe me if we could ask her to choose, she wouldn’t want to come back to earth. Hard to accept but

  60. Holly says:

    Dear MacDonald Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss, first of all! I have been following your blog for awhile now, and my heart aches for you all! When I heard of Sweet Aria’s passing I wept. Wept for the unfairness of it… wept for you all.. and wept for all those parents who will deal or have dealt with this pain. Know that you are not forgotten, but remembered always! Much love and many prayers from Florida.
    My blog is private but if you’d like to read it email me at and I’ll send you invite. I’m a 19 year old girl, who loves these little ones… loves life… and most of all Loves God!

  61. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    Ouch! That is really hard to accept but helps to put things in perspective. You can enjoy things. Aria already is enjoying more than we can imagine!

  62. Tammy Morris says:

    I will never forget. Continuing to pray for your healing, strength, and rest. I picture her sitting in Jesus’s lap and they are looking at a book together.

  63. Jan P. says:

    Great to hear from you. I so feel your pain. Grief is like a wave and comes from behind to flatten you. But it is a bit like walking you get up and keep going, but I believe that it is all part of the healing process. You are doing all the right things love you all take care and be kind to yourself. Look forward to meeting with you sometime.

  64. Shirley Davy says:

    When I think of you at Red Beach, I think of Jacobs Ladder that is a 2 min walk from the KIDS foundation bach….. stairs that lead to the rocky cliff face….and I think of the Jacob struggling in the bible, wrestling with God, unsure but wanting God to touch him… you wrestle with God you can be sure He will meet you, in the unexpected, through strangers, through tears, through kindness, through laughter, through Asher, through uncertainty. He will ….. and we are here for you as you walk in the unknown, again…. allow yourself rest and time and we are going nowhere my friend. Love you. X

  65. caoimhe meehan says:

    I think about aria and you guys everyday. I can only imagine how you must feel and it is heartwrenchingly painful. I have been following your blog for two years now, since my own little boy was born with severe hirschsprungs.he is currently waiting on an isolated bowel transplant. I would love to chat with you guys when you are feeling more up to it.
    I admire how you have dealt with all that has come your way. Your faith i find truly amazing and inspiring as i know all too well how easy it is to doubt Him when you have lived with so much suffering.
    I would also like to thank you for sharing your daughters journey with me, i prayed and still pray so very hard for u all. I hope you will find peace in your hearts. God bless you

  66. Sharon says:

    Send you hugs and prayers for this readjustment time in your lives love sharon

  67. Mon says:

    Hi Anita & Hamish
    Just wanted to let you know that I will never forget you or aria. Even though I never met aria or yourselves I have read all blog entries for a long long time. They have made me cry and smile but most of all have made me appreciate what I have and that god is with us through hard times he never forsakes us (which on some occasion I thought he had)… thank you thank you for sharing your life with me. Aria was amazing!!! & my family and I will never forget and will continue to read your blog for as long as you write on it. All my love xxoo

  68. nana rose says:

    I cant say enough at what courageous parents you both were.You both did the very best you could hve done ,never doubt that.Am glad you all have had a chance to chill as it was full on when you got back.Glad your keeping this site open as there will be many people grieving with you and need this open for as long as you feel it needs to be open.Mum

  69. Sue says:

    You guys are wonderful. You have done and are doing wonderfully. One step at a time. Standing still is fine too :-) Enjoy your week as much as you can. thinking of you lots and praying for you.

  70. Kristie Wise says:

    My husband and I are still praying for your family. You will not be forgotten. I have learned so much from your blog. You have encouraged me and challenged me. I will forever hold your dear Aria in my heart and look forward to meeting her in heaven. I hope you do continue some blog. You have an amazing story to tell! God bless!!

  71. Anjela says:

    HI Anita and Hamish – you are so not forgotten – you are Aria’s mum and dad!! you are a big part of this story – this journey that I have been privileged to be touched and challenged by – I have been hoping you would come back online, and if you felt it appropriate, and you felt able, to carry on your voice and your story because it is REAL, it is a journey, and you teach us so much, and we can offer you virtual support and prayer – it is not over because Aria is not present – I am intensely interested in all things digital, and I have found myself analyzing the impact your virtual thread has had over the last 18 months since I heard about Aria and your story. I think in your rebuild of a different life, letting this blog evolve as your family does, will be amazing. Media feeds a point of view when it covers stories, and then media disappear when the emotive or sensational elements decline ( in their eyes) – whereas, you guys are the authors of your story – no-one edits your words or your point of view here on a blog – it is precious and important – Your world is such a bigger place through Aria, as you said, your connections to all kinds of place and people, while confusing now, is a way forward to your future also. God walks this with you, nothing is wasted, He is there.

    Keep writing when you feel like it!!!!

    and thank you……

  72. jen says:

    enjoy Red Beach.

    one day at a time my dear friends

    I will never forgot about you all
    thinking about you all lots


  73. Jane says:

    Dear Ones, Judging by the number of replies to your blog,and knowing how I feel about your precious family and how connected I feel; I sincerely doubt that many of us will forget You and our special Miss Aria.

    You will find that Father God can take the storming rage of raw grief, the wordless sobbing, the confusion and questions, and He loves you through it. Jesus is holding you before the Father right now interceding for you.
    I also know how hard it is to hear this sometimes. So…
    Loving and praying for you, caring for you, take all the time you need. Please just ask for what you need.. time, space, a visit, a big hug, etc. We love you guys so much.

  74. Judy Palmer says:

    I still pray for you every day, that God will guide you through this very difficult time.It is only 41/2 months since my husband died so I can sort of relate to what you are going through. You were so full on with Aria’s care for 5 years that it must be very strange to try and live a normal life. God bless the three of you, Judy.

  75. Jackie says:

    I have never met you but have followed your journey since Aria’s story was aired on ‘Attitude’. I have rejoiced when things went right and cried along with you when things did not go as hoped.
    God Bless you as you begin this new phase of your lives. Thinking and praying for you each – Anita, Hamish and Asher. Much love xx

  76. Jo says:

    Oh what a relief to hear from you guys again! Have been praying for you and thinking of you. Your grief is a very personal journey – take all the time you need.

    I wanted to meet you in person but I had to go back to work just before the service finished. I left an envelope with three windmills. Hope you got it.

    It is impossible to just suddenly stop caring about you guys. You have been a part of my prayers for so long.

    You are right when you say you are grieving so many different things. So many huge changes all at once. I bet you are totally exhausted! Listen to your bodies. Sleep, cry, walk, stare at tv, talk, hide, try to relax – whatever you need right now.

    Love Jo

  77. Taryn says:

    Dear ones, I hold you all in my heart. I pray for you often and think of you often. May God heal your broken hearts. May He hold you close to His heart. We love you and are thankful to be on this journey with you, wherever it continues to lead. May you have rest these weeks.

  78. Melvyn & Sally says:

    We have never met but be assured you are as much in our prayers and thoughts now as before. Aria’s blog is a place we will continue to visit each day and we pray for you as you take one step, one hour, one day at a time. Love and prayers.

  79. Susan says:

    I will always be checking in and one day I hope to meet you all in person and give you all a huge hug.Im pleased to hear you are taking time out for you all.Take care sending loads of strength.God will keep you safe trust in him
    Much love xxx

  80. Rachael Schlierike says:

    I have never met you but i am friends with Jodee Reid and Jodee mentions Aria and her family on Matisses Caringbridge page so i have been following your journey. Words can not express how sorry i am for your loss and my thoughts are with you as you rebuild your life. You are an inspiration and amazing parents, and i hope you keep this blog going so people you do know and people you don’t such as myself can support you while you heal.
    Much Love from Napier x

  81. Cork and Carol says:

    Hamish and Anita,
    The KIDS foundation has the experience to know that a happy ending is not always possible in the world we live in. Red Beach is there for you because God knows you cannot just step out of 5 years of parenting without also allowing yourselves to mourn this loss and then, slowly, your future life together with Asher will be revealed. This is not a light-switch event, as you now understand. Aria was a beautiful child whom you loved through the joys, the challenges, and the struggles, fighting sickness throughout her life. It was a valiant fight, and Aria was the heavy weight champion through round after round. We were so proud and really just in awe of her spirit and strength. You know so well that God revealed his perfect time for her to join Him in heaven. The MacDonald family has been a blessing and continues to be; we cherish the times that we have had together. You can trust that you will never be forgotten and always loved. So, you are right to take the time you need to pour out your grief to God and let Him work through those He sends in your path. We love you and wish we could be there. Just know that we do care. We continue to pray for your family. Thanks for the privilege of knowing you. CWB

  82. Melissa Rine says:

    Thank you and Hamish so much for putting your heart and feelings out there. Iam so sorry that we didnt get to spend more time together. I want you to know that Aria touched our lives along with the two of you so deeply. To hear and see your courage and hers was awesome to see. You are truly heros in my eyes. We are honored to have known you even for awhile. God has used you all to inspire people to never give up and always fight. Glad you are taking the time to yourselves. We will always remember Aria and never for get any of you. Again thank you for being so honest and open. You are awesome people and have amaizing hearts!!

  83. susan says:

    We haven’t forgotten you here in the south. Even Corin who is 3 will sometimes randomly come out with “Aria is in heaven with God”. It is a comforting thought in some ways but still hard to get used to the idea even for us. We can’t imagine your grief. Talk about words failing!! I don’t even know what to say except you are still in our prayers.

  84. FlakeNoir (NZ) says:

    Thinking of you all. (((MacDonald family))) xox.

  85. Jacquie & Lauren says:

    Your news made my ball my eyes out at work. I am so sorry for your loss and so humbled by your inner strength. I do not know how I would be, as a person, if anything were to happen to my child. Thank you for sharing yourself, your feelings, your thoughts – and they do make sense, even the bits that don’t. I wish there was more I could say. God sped Aria.
    Jacquie & Lauren

  86. Kurt says:

    Don’t know what to say, but wanted you to know that we are still thinking of you and care for you. I hope and pray.

  87. Jen Cato says:

    Ooooo I have been waiting for this blog and I really do hope that you all decide to keep it up. In memory of Aria and just so we know how you all are doing. How is Asher holding up? I know you have talked about how you all have been feeling, but, is he doing alright? Been thinking a lot about you guys and you’ll never be far from my heart, either. <3 Just wanted to let you know.

  88. Lester says:

    Grieve, Anita, pour out your heart in grief for your lovely child, and God will help you heal…I recently lost my mother, and I went through soul-shattering grief, but in comparison your grief must be a thousandfold…Remember the lovely times with Aria, that will bring so much comfort…you and Hamish did the very best for her, be assured of that, no parents could have humanly done more…
    I have set lovely Aria’s picture as my desktop background, and everytime my computer goes into screensaving mode, I have 30 pics of Aria with her little mischievous smile and her bright eyes, telling me to be happy…just as she seemed to be in that picture.

  89. charleen says:

    “one day at a time, sweet jesus, that’s all i’m asking of you. just give me the strength, to do every day, what i have to do.”

    take this time you have at red beach to rest & heal a little. nobody expects you to be able to pick up the pieces, and carry on immediately. there is so much to get used to, being back in NZ, recconecting with family, and of course, the biggie, not having aria, a precious little angel, who is still a part of your family. she is not lost to you, she has merely travelled on before you.

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