2011 July - Aria MacDonald

Archive for July, 2011

Purple and black

Grief is a weird thing.  I really have no idea what is going on.  I just so desperately want to be normal and have a normal life yet I am reminded daily that that really is not a reality.  I really really really can’t believe Aria isn’t here anymore and I really don’t want any part of this grief business.  But again- that is not our reality.

I feel like walking on egg shells.  Little things completely rattle me in unexpected ways.  Someone rushed past me in the shops today and didn’t say excuse me (I need to remember I am not in the US anymore!)  and for some reason I felt really shaken- isn’t that silly??

Most days I feel like I have to put on this brave face and be happy.  I don’t want to talk about Aria’s passing all the time with people but it does hurt when people don’t ask how we are doing.  And I don’t want to stop talking about Aria either.

I see things right now as a big ball of messy purple and black yarn.  A big mess that is going to take me years to unravel.  Separating beautiful purple yarn of Aria’s memory and the wonderful girl she was from the ugly black memories of dark hospital days and her death.  Her journey was so full of pain and right now the memories are so bad.  Which is so unfair to her because she was such a shining light thru the whole thing and I don’t regret a second of it.  To know her life was to know the strength of her character and how amazing she was.  God gave her a unique personality to cope with her struggle.

Thank you again for your love and support.  We really appreciate it.




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Hamish and I took a weeks break in Red Beach.  One week of sleeping in and no responsibility, really helpful.

Asher joined us on Wednesday after we picked him up from preschool.  It is great to have him back in our daily lives but it has it’s challenges too.  Try explaining to a 3 year old his sister isn’t coming back.

He was walking down the stairs at preschool and he said ‘Aria can’t walk down these stairs, I will have to carry her’ and  ‘Aria should come to preschool with me, she would have fun’.  Even as I type these words my eyes fill with tears.  It was out of the blue and unexpected.  Hamish explained that Aria can walk down stairs now cause she is healed in heaven with Jesus and she doesn’t need to go to preschool to learn things.

Later that night Asher asked me were Aria was.  I said in heaven with God and that we won’t see her again which makes Mummy and Daddy and our family sad.

Every day she comes up in conversation.  We made pancakes this morning and Asher decided Aria should have the first one.

It is bittersweet.  We love it that he talks about her and we would never discourage him or get upset when he does.  But it is super heartbreaking having to tell your son his sister isn’t here almost everyday.

Today we brought him a little globe because he is very interested in NZ and the USA and countries.  He calls Omaha home and refers to things ‘at home’.  We asked him where Aria was and he pointed to Japan!  We are trying to get a sense if he understands but we are thinking he doesn’t.  Which I fine because most days I don’t understand how someone you love so much can be with you one day and gone the next.  Death is so wrong and so unnatural.  Thank you Jesus for defeating it!  We claim your promise for our family.

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.

Thank you

Thank you to all who came to Aria’s service yesterday and for all who watched online.

Thank you to all the people that contributed to make it happen, it was an amazing service.

Thanks for all the beautiful flowers that were sent and for all the support.

which I have only watched without the sound.  Tough.

We are rebuilding our lives, so very hard.  Words fail.

We love you Aria.


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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11