Asher - Aria MacDonald


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.

29 Responses to “Asher”

  1. Gwyn says:

    Oh Anita and Hamish, my heart just breaks for you. I am glad you have been able to get some sleep and a bit of time out. My children made cards for your family while watching online on 1st July, is there an address we can send them to?

  2. Yvonne RRN says:

    Have to be honest I have no words. I as an adult still having trouble realising your little princess Aria is in heaven. Having followed this blog from the beginning she is still part of the family. So no wonder little Asher comes out with these things. Just another challange till he understands.
    Still grieving for you all & 4 of you forever in my heart.

  3. Jen Cato says:

    Oh…so sweet and innocent. The eyes and heart of a child are so wonderful, aren’t they? He is too cute for words and I pray that you all stay strong and so so glad that you are so honest. Especially with Asher. Thank you for the update on him. He’s been on my heart a lot lately as well as you and Hamish. God Bless you all…..<3 I would love to write you too. This has been an amazing journey dor us all…..<3

  4. Jane says:

    Blessings Dear Ones.
    I am so glad to hear that you have had a much needed rest. I think you will find that the concept of the separation of going to be with Jesus (gosh that other word is so hard to use)might be difficult for Asher to grasp because of his stage of thinking. However I have found that children can relate more easily to stories and this may help with understanding. I have come across some really good story books as a seaons co-ordiator and a preschool teacher. I will send you the name of the titles in a letter.
    I continue to pray Psalm 23 for your family. I know that He is leading and guiding you and I pray that He will comfort and heal your broken hearts. Arohanui

  5. EVE GILKES says:

    Dear Hamish, Anita and Asher,
    I was so pleased to read your latest writings, that Asher is keeping Aria very much alive, still including her in everything. That would be my way of doing things, BUT I can only speak for myself. Spiritually it is possible that she is still with you, her human shell isn’t. I know many old folks who still chat daily to their deceased spouse, asking advice and help ……. it is a great source of help and comfort to them.
    I pray the peace of God for all of you, your larger family too.
    Thank you once again for continuing to include us in your on-going struggle/battle to come to terms with what has happened in your life.
    I love you ……. God bless you

  6. brad and stephanie says:

    Wow, what a precious little guy. He loves her so well.

    Praise God that death has been conquered, but yes, so hard to understand. Someone gave me a new book…. “Heaven is for Real”… about a 4 year old boy who saw heaven during his surgery. Interesting to read… especially to see how a child responds to such big questions about life and death. He has so much trust in God’s goodness and what he has seen.

    Love you all much.

  7. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    Asher, we love you! Heres a BIG hug for you! (Give him a big hug from us Anita please). Having a big sister in Heaven is so special for a wee guy and God will give you so much joy and healing as you travel this road together. His trust and faith will surprise and bless you.

  8. Lisa says:

    What a gorgeous little man. Go with the flow he might not understand Aria is now in heaven, but it’s those conversations that keep her close

  9. Bridgette says:

    Sending you all hugs today! I’m with Brad and Stephanie on the “Heaven is For Real” book. Super quick easy read but pretty thought provoking. May each of your hearts be healed as you learn cope with your huge loss. Many continued prayers and thoughts of you guys EVERY DAY (throughout the day!) LOVE!!

  10. Belinda (LF-Aus) says:

    Big ((((HUGS)))) Asher is just beautiful 🙂

  11. Tiffany Keller says:

    My heart breaks for you! I keep praying that God will continue to comfort you, & give you strength to persevere. Asher is so sweet! One day you will get to see Aria again; aybe not for a while, but you will get to see her again! May God continue to be with you & heal your family! God Bless!

  12. Marie says:

    Hi, I’m just a random stranger who has read your blog with a heavy heart for many months. I too have a 4 year old hirl, and a 2 year old boy. My mother recently lost her husband, and I think the best way to describe it are the waves of grief. To start with the waves are huge. They swamp you and you struggle to go on. They come at you relentlessly. As time goes by they will start to get a bit smaller, and a bit further apart. Every now and then, without warning, another one will swamp you. But each day is just a tiny bit easier until the waves of grief are like a gentle ocean swell. Always there, but manageable and liveable.
    You have a long way to go. You are allowed to grieve, you are allowed to be scared and frightened at your new life, because it will be so different to what you are used to. But slowly and surely, it will get better. All the best you all.

  13. Cordell & Carol says:

    The words you share make me well up inside my throat and tears immediately blur my vision as I imagine how it must feel to have Asher so innocently bring up his sister in conversation. To him, she must just still be sleeping in the hospital where he last saw her. He too will gradually understand; he is such a precious little fellow; I just want to reach out and hug him tight. Thanks for share your heart on this journey.

  14. Linda Crosbie says:

    Dear Anita, Asher and Hamish
    Glad you have taken some YOU time at Red Beach. Asher is just being a natural little man. My nephew was Ashers age when he lost Grandma (Mamo) and often asked where Mamo was. We talked about her being in heaven. Next question from him was where was heaven? We told him heaven was in the sky. His older sister said look for the brightest star in the sky and that is Mamo looking down on us smiling. Six months later, on Guy Fawke night when we were letting fireworks off he pointed out the brightest star to me and said Mamo was smiling at us. Kids are great while we go through grieving as they just ground us and you start to smile again at their thoughts and insight at their age. You are in my thoughts and prayers always. Xxxx

  15. Lisa Robertson says:

    I really struggled with my youngest, mieke, when my mum passed away… They were best friends, their bond was amazing…. And it was so hard to deal with her questions and heartbreak while I struggled with my own. You are right, death does seem so wrong and the pain is immense. Mieke still talks about my mum every day now and that is a blessing… It took time to feel that way but mieke keeps her close to our memories. Ashie is a sweetheart :). All my Love to you as you battle through these hardest days. Xxx

  16. Samantha Sutherland says:

    Yes, I totally agree, death is unnatural and wrong and I just can’t seem to accept it as normal, for a child, especially. What you are facing is no doubt the biggest fear any adult has to face and I wouldn’t be surprised if your head felt like it was exploding trying to cope with all those thoughts in it. I love the beautiful and innocent words of a child, he is just trying to figure out all the changes in his world too. What a hard concept to have to understand for a little boy. You are all doing so well, this journey is painful and difficult and you, as always, are facing it gracefully and honestly. Lots of love xxx

  17. Fiona McNair says:

    I’m so pleased you have kept up your blog the hard times will be with you for a long time yet. Everyday you will be reminded of little things, you have all been through so so much, through this experience you will all be stronger but that doesn’t help the pain. I can’t help but wonder if you feel like getting into nursing, you have a wealth of experience, you would make a wonderful nurse!! Anyway I guess you are all in the process of getting aback into some normality whatever that is. I wish you all the very best, you are a amazing people.

  18. Nikki says:

    I agree with some of the comments on here – kids of Asher’s age understand concrete concepts best, and maybe his attempts at learning where different countries are, are an attempt to explain to himself where heaven/Aria/God are? Also, what Cordell and Carol have said makes a lot of sense, he may think that Aria is still in the hospital where he last saw her, as he might not understand the transition that got her from there to here. These are just totally amateur guesses, mind you – I don’t even have any children (though not for lack of wanting them), and I’m not qualified in any way in these things, but I do understand that younger children understand what can be seen, felt, touched, better than that which cannot. You’ll have the parental wisdom to find ways of explaining these things to him. You guys are great parents. I also want you to know that I am thinking of all 4 of you every day. Hugs.

  19. Vikki Bland says:

    I too am thinking of you every day. Sending you so much love, you are such wonderful parents. I also would love a postal address for you, if you can provide one. Perfectly understand if you would prefer not to. It’s hard to know what to say, but I am so grateful that you are still writing so we can hear from you, and can respond as best we can. It’s so hard to believe Aria is suddenly with Jesus – I find it hard myself to adjust to that reality after so many years of following your family blog, so I cannot even imagine how it is for you and Hamish, and for lovely Asher. May you be comforted in your grief by tremendous love. And may that love surround you always and forever.

  20. jen says:

    my thoughts and prayers are with you all

    lots of love is being sent your way

  21. Renee says:

    I totally agree with Marie when she talks about grief coming in waves. Sometimes it can be overwhelming enough to be heart broken all over again just when you thought you have got over it. Grief will stay as long as the memory of the lost one stays. And you never forget your loved ones. Hold on to each other and share your sorrows and feelings with your near ones. Cry and relieve yourselves as this is part of the healing process. Each milestone in the next 12 months will fill you with sadness and tears. It is painful but very normal. God bless you all as you struggle through the days ahead.

  22. sheryl says:

    Thinking of you.

  23. Raylene says:

    How heartbreaking for you both. So very sad. Loving thoughts from everywhere will be with you at the this time xx

  24. Joyce says:

    I still have you all in my prayers and also ask why such a precious child is no longer here but God only takes the best and Aria is certainly that. I will never get that sweet smile from my mind nor will I ever forget what your blog meant to me.It changed my life in so many ways. Perhaps that was the purpose God had for your family to witness to so many who never met you. May he keep you all in his loving care and especially Asher.Thank you again for sharing with us all.

  25. Marybeth Weber says:

    This breaks my heart, I will be thinking of you and your family <3

  26. Laura says:

    Still praying for the three of you. So glad you are keeping this up so that we can continue to journey with you. Rest & refresh, and give yourselves permission to postpone decisions. You’ve made so many over these years – this is time to stop & just be. It’s ok. Give each other and Asher what you need, and postpone the rest of the world. It will still be waiting for you when you’re ready.

  27. jenny says:

    Thinking of you all from down here in the Waikato. You will all be in my prayers as you travel this journey of loss and grief. Praying that you get encouragement and peace as you take each day at a time.

  28. chrissy Hallberg says:

    You are soooooooooooooooo amazing, and such lovely parents,young Asher will grow to be a VERY wise man with the teaching’s being given him.Aria lives on !!!!!BLESSINGS to you all,Chrissy 🙂

  29. Leticia says:

    My little brother struggled when my son died. He was so proud of his nephew and loosing him was worse than loosing a brother because in his way he saw himself as his protector. We used a book called part of me died too. it has lots of stories that we picked and used from to illustrate where Joshie is and what happened.
    Not a day goes past when I dont think and pray for you all. Much love

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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