Will this be true? - Aria MacDonald

Will this be true?


Psalm 30:11-12

New International Version (NIV)

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

I remember reading the bible when I was a kid and learning about people in biblical times sitting around dressed in sackcloth and putting ashes on their heads.  As a kid I thought this was weird but I kinda get it now.

Actually I quite like the idea, it is such an obvious sign of mourning.  In biblical times your mates would come over and mourn with you.  You would mourn together and be comforted.

I often think that I feel like a big chunk of us is missing.  Again I wish I was missing an arm or a leg.  Such an obvious sign something is wrong.  People can see it and there is no escaping it.

Perhaps now I feel like the hardest part of the mourning process is about to start.  People start to forget.  You appear normal.  I manage to get thru the day without crying.  Just.  At least not in public anyway.  People forget and we try to believe we are somehow normal.

Thankfully though perhaps there are a few people that have forgotten or aren’t sure what to say I am reminded by the messages that arrive in my inbox saying ‘I think of you lots’  or the meals that still keep coming to our house twice a week!   Those are VERY gratefully received.

Truth be told though there are many unanswered emails in my inbox.  I am sorry if you are one of those!  I  will get to you!  It just takes creative and emotional energy and it is in short supply.

Honestly I think we are making progress and then I think we are not.

We miss Aria so desperately.  It is real and sharp and there is no escaping it.  Will that verse I posted ever be true?  Right now I just can’t believe God can turn our mourning into dancing, at least not in this life?  Will we feel broken forever?

Soon we are going to have to decide what to do with this website.  I think we are going to finish up soon and start a new project.  Will keep you posted.

50 Responses to “Will this be true?”

  1. Mon says:

    Hi Anita, I have never meet you or your family but I have not forgotten Aria. She was an inspiration in my life and my children’s lives we follow your blog together. It will be sad not getting your blog in our Inbox, but I can understand the need to end it. Truly deeply we send love and prayers your way xo. In my lifetime I will never forget you McDonalds!!!

  2. Esme says:

    Anita, words cannot describe how sorry I am for your loss. I’ve been following Aria’s story for a couple of years now, but never felt able to comment.

    You will always miss Aria – my Gran and my Mum never stopped missing my Uncle after he was killed. With time though, it does get better, you will be able to think of her without crying, you will begin to feel that its ok to laugh, to have fun. Grief is the price of love, but isn’t love God’s greatest gift? It just takes time.

    Aria was lucky to have such a loving family. There will be a time when the good days outweigh the bad, and that will happen soon. Shalom xox

  3. ninny1 says:

    What you wrote above could have been written by me 7 years ago when our daughter died, exactly how i felt! And 7 years since she died, there is joy in each day, a dance to be had and precious memories that i am blessed with. Like our daughter, those who loved her will remember her in their own precious ways. She will never be forgotten. And I hope my daughter and Aria are running around in heaven clothed in full glory, healed and whole. Love to you all!

  4. Coralie says:

    I will miss this update if you close it BUT I will also see it as a time of closure for you. Please take care and live every moment as a gift, you are the most precious family and deserve the best life has to offer.

    In my thoughts always.
    Love from Coralie Naumann

  5. lisa robertson says:

    Have wanted to tell you for a while that I still think of Aria everyday – every single day, but didn’t quite know wether to say it to you out loud.
    After almost 5 years of holding such hope for your gorgeous daughter, she isn’t someone I will ever forget – we laughed with you, hoped for you, cried for you…. Aria was really special… just so you know, I wont forget. xxx

  6. Bland family says:

    I will miss you lots when this blog closes but I also can see how it is important to do so. It’s so strange…every time I have a day where I think “I haven’t heard from Anita through the blog for a while…please Lord may they be doing okay” you post a blog update. Perhaps you hear an echo of our prayers for you 🙂
    Anita, these are such hard days…the joys will come in little unexpected moments, the dancing maybe farther down the track. But I do believe that one day the Psalm in the verse will be true for you. In the meantime, please know we never forget precious Aria, and we never forget all that has happened to you and your family. I think of you all SO much. Your journey is with me for all time.

  7. Peter says:

    Mourn all you need. By a miracle we can not understand, we have a God who weeps with us.

    We keep praying for you.

  8. EVE GILKES says:

    You will know when the time is right to move on ……. to close this page, BUT NEVER CLOSE ON ARIA, she was, and is and always will be part of your lives.
    I would love to hear from time to time how you life is going, we are sort of wrapped up in you now, having been with you for so long.
    Maybe it is time for a new chapter for you. God will always be there with you. I am so thankful that I can’t kid God, I can’t pull the wool over his eyes, He knows me through and through …… He knows exactly where you are and how you feel …… He holds you close.
    With much love ……. God bless you

  9. Tammy Morris says:

    Praying for you to begin to feel like dancing.

  10. Carolyn O'Cain says:

    I am continuing to pray for you and your family. It’s what I know to do and it is my gift to you in the midst of your mourning. I thank God for that privilege. Thank you for letting us know what you will do with this website and beyond it. I know the Lord will lead and guide you into what He wants. You have a very powerful witness and I can’t help but believe He will use that in mightier ways than we can ever imagine. I send my love to you all.
    In His great and mighty love,
    Carolyn O’Cain

  11. Maree says:

    Thankyou so much Anita for sharing your lives with us. Aria will always remain in our memories when you close this page down. Time does heal and the good memories will bring you joy. Kia Kaha

  12. Tiffany Keller says:

    Anita & Hamish, I promie you that I haven’t forgotten what your family has been through. I may not be able to bring you a meal, because I’m in America & not New Zealand, but I always remember you in my prayers. I lost my dad a few years back, & I know that’s not the same as losing a child, but the grief will be raw for a while. Eventually the pain will ease up. Pain will always be there, but it will ease up. Someday, God will wipe away all our tears. May God continue to comfort you, and may He bless you!

  13. Tiffany Keller says:


  14. Joan Marshall says:

    I like Esme’s comment that grief is the price of love, but perhaps I would turn it around. When all my beloved cats have died, George has queried why I do it to myself, but I firmly believe that if you don’t open yourself to love, you don’t live and that emotion be it good or bad is all part of life (so we now have Rosie to love). My birth mother is fading away and I know I’m not going to have her for much longer but whilst it hurts, I also am so grateful that I’ve had her in my life for 9 years and have gained 2 half sisters. So good does come out of bad and you have to believe that Anita. I would be sorry to have you close this site (but that’s for me, not you and you must do what is best for you) as my heart jumped this morning when I opened my e-mail and there you were. I see Aria such a lot because I open My Planner on MySky and she appears in the first Attitude programme I saw about her and I click on to it for a moment and talk to her! Love you lot and heaps of warm fuzzies to you all.

  15. Cary Farrington (GRC) says:

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. Every time I drive by UNMC (several times a week) I think of Aria and our one time meeting on that Saturday morning, a time of prayer. I wish I had come and met you before then, and I wish I had met Asher before you left. I think of Aria and pray for your family often. I will not forget Aria.

  16. Samantha Sutherland says:

    Honey, please know that we are grieving alongside you too, every day. Aria is still very much in our thoughts and hearts and I have just kept my distance because I don’t know if you can deal with us right now or if we are reminders of the bad stuff. I will always be here waiting and will always keep Aria in our memories and you too. When you are ready for that coffee and hugs I will be here, the kids can play and we can talk and remember.

    I honestly don’t know how you move forward, but I guess eventually you do and your days start to feel a bit brighter and you feel like you can cope for a few more hours. Grief is normal though and takes time, lots of it. xxxx

  17. chrissy Hallberg says:

    A million blessings to you and hubby and your lovely wee boy,your amazing and so is our God,Jesus will heal and yes you will dance with joy ,it will just take time.p.s love the pic,made my eye’s water it did,xxx

  18. Samantha Sutherland says:

    PS lovely pic of you and Shirley in the Courier!

  19. Brenda Rolston says:

    Lovely to read your new up-date. I have never forgotten Aria or you and your family. That is why we keep looking up your latest up-dates to hear and read more about you all and how you’re getting on. It will be hard for a long time but eventually you will start laughing about funny things Aria did and enjoying lots of lovely memories. I think that this next year for you will have lots of wonderful times and new happenings for you all which will help. God never forgets what you’ve been through and He is always there to uplift you in the hardest times, and there will always be lots of these even though there will be more and more better times as well. I’ll miss reading about you all but will never forget you.

  20. jen says:

    my prayers are with you all

  21. Lisa says:

    We always think of you and Aria, little things will remind us, I know it is different for you, I can not imagine, but you are in our thoughts xxx

  22. joyce says:

    I still pray for your family and ask God to just stay very close to you all. Aria’s journey touched
    me in such a way that I will never forget her nor the way your family helped me in my walk with God.He has used your family in a mighty way.

  23. Judy Palmer says:

    I still remember you in my prayers daily and will not forget Aria, just as I will never forget my little Wendy who passed away 44 years ago on 31st October and my Husband Allan who left me in February this year.I have just sold my house that we shared for nearly 50 years so am making a new start. If you feel like it is time to close this site, we will understand that it is time for you also to move on. God bless you and keep you moving forward. Love in Jesus’ name, Judy Palmer in Christchurch.

  24. Renee says:

    Just yesterday I was thinking of your family. How it felt like ages since Aria was gone but how recent this actually is. And how real the pain must still feel for you. It is a year and a half since I lost my dearest Mum but there is till date a vaccuum which cannot be filled. Every prayer every occasion I still bring her to my thoughts. I am confident this will be the case as long as I live. As i grow older my only wish will be to unite with her and to hold her hand once again. Our loved ones die and leave this world but NEVER our hearts and minds. Still thinking of you. Will be really really sad not to have access to Aria’s site.

  25. Josie says:

    Anita, some people do forget and that hurts, but those that love Aria, like your family and all the people who have followed your blog won’t forget. I have buried a son and I know the pain that a grieving mum goes through, the pain changes after a long while but just a tiny thing can bring it all rushing back. You are not alone, other grieving mums understand and pray for you and your family as well as for Angel Aria. Continue to stand tall and be the great mum that Aria knew. Do whatever it takes to get yourself through each day. Hugs

  26. lisa says:

    Dear Anita
    You are def not forgotten nor is Aria. She continues to inspire me everyday. Your family is always in my thoughts and prayers. This is so hard for you. No one feels the pain quite like you do. Please know that you are so loved. If I could take some of your pain on my shoulders I would. I understand if you need to know this blog. It will be hard not to receive your blogs anymore but you must do what is right for you. Love to you xxx

  27. Cork and Carol says:

    In a way, you will never be done with this website. Aria will always be part of your heart and mind, a very special five years of your life as a family. There will be those occasions that bring back the tears, but happy memories, I hope, will just flood over them and you’ll smile as you remember. We pray for His continued comfort and future blessings as life unfolds. We love you. CWB

  28. Lyaine says:

    I love the picture of Asher tending to his sister grave. It’s beautiful. I too will miss your blogs, and know that like many others I think of you all often and often. Praying for you all.

  29. Mary says:

    Yes a truly beautiful picture of Asher. Along with so many others I will never forget you Anita and your family and the beautiful brave Aria. Think of you all often.

  30. Robin Demby says:

    I have never posted but have followed for quite some time. Aria was amazing……courageous and beautiful. God took her home way too soon, but perhaps He needed her. Trust me, you will feel joy and will dance…do it in Aria’s memory. I hate to hear this site may be closed but I understand why. Perhaps you could begin a new blog about the family as we are still interested in you, Hamish and wee Asher. We all miss Aria and will never forget her.
    Love and Prayers,

  31. Maree says:

    I still check this page, we have never met. I feel for you and your family. Do what you need to do to get through this journey. I will never forget your little girl that I will never get to meet – she was a true inspiration and has taught me to treasure what I have xx

  32. Samantha says:

    Anita, we will and can never forget Aria – she made such a huge impact on so many people’s lives. We can only imagine the process you are having to deal with and go through and the rollercoaster of emotions. Know that you are still in our prayers daily and I trust that time will heal – we will and you will NEVER, ever forget precious Aria but I do trust that the days will get easier. Give yourself time to mourn and to feel whatever you need to feel. There is no right or wrong way – only the way you feel. It’s ok. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s normal. We love you and will continue to carry you and your beautiful family in our prayers. Love the pic of Asher at the top at Aria’s grave – so touching xx

  33. Tina Coleman says:

    I too have been following your blog for a while. I too will miss it! i still check it daily–i still pray for you guys as we remember Aria–such a precious child–a true blessing from God–she will continue to bless even in her absence on this earth. She touched so many lives–all of you did–thank you for sharing all of that with us. I’ve never lost a child so i don’t know what that’s like, but when i lost my dad 20 years ago i absolutely thought i was going to lose my mind! It’s so crazy how grief works–as a Christian you know they are in a much better place. A place we all long to be–with our Lord and Savior, but oh, my gosh, it just hurts SO bad! We know all the “right” things to say–we know how we’re supposed to feel, but truth be known it’s just a foreign, awful place to walk! I often think, what on earth do people do if they don’t have Jesus? How do they make it thru something like this? I don’t know–i don’t see how they can. It is true tho even after 20 years I miss my daddy LOTS!! Just thinking of him makes me cry, but i don’t feel like i’ve been kicked in the gut anymore–i don’t feel like i need to scream until i’m hoarse. I guess what I’m trying to say is time does make it easier–I’m thankful that you have your memories, that you have Asher, that you have your family around you, but most of all that you have the peace of our king. Just hang in there sweet girl and let God love on you, thru your friends, may you find peace and comfort. Maybe you can start an Asher blog so we can all watch him grow up! I’m a big fan of blogs! You hang in there.
    Much love coming your way

  34. susan says:

    You are not forgotten MacDonald family! I pray that you may continue to be comforted by God and those around you and that God will turn your mourning into dancing. God bless.

  35. H Wilkie says:

    It is so sad to see you go and yet I know it is perhaps part of the process.I shared tonight at homegroup for communion and spoke about death, I shared about friends who had died not knowing God. I shared about my stepmum and Aria (I told them how I loved her so much and hadn’t even met her) who had also passed but they knew the Lord and how one day we will see them again. Praise God! Be encouraged, Eternally together in heaven. xxxx

  36. Fiona McNair says:

    Hiya so pleased you are still writing, the pain is always there but this lessons as time goes on….keep up the contact there are heaps of people connected to you and your family and especially little Aria.

  37. Angie Arms says:

    Hamish, Anita & Asher: We miss you all so much! I was reminded of you yet again this morning as I sprayed Aria’s hair de-tangler into Praja’s hair :). Ever since our parting words at the apartment complex I’ve been wanting to write you some thoughts I have. Thank you for keeping in touch w/us through this medium… I will get in touch. Praying for you all. Randy, for all Arms.

  38. Stuart Meehan says:

    Hi McDonald Family , like so many of the other followers of Aria inspirational life , i will never forget Aria, or the way yourself and Hamish shared your love, grief and faith over the years. I will always remember you all.Stu

  39. Wayne Barnett says:

    Every time my son plays the keyboard (and it’s reluctantly sometimes!)I will remember Aria…and you guys too.

  40. Marilyn says:

    You have certainly not been forgotten and the website is checked often for posts as to how you are coping.

  41. Marybeth Weber says:

    Thinking of you all <3

  42. Samantha Seccombe says:

    Dear Anita
    I’ve kept up reading this site because we continue to pray for you all nearly everyday and we want to know how you are doing. Please keep us in touch so we can pray effectively. I know what it is to grieve and have wanted to commit myself to pray for you in your heart ache and journey. It takes a long time in my experience and I’m not sure the sorrow ever really goes away. But the Lord does restore our hearts again and brings us into a new and deeper understanding of Him and His ways. He is the Lord who is full of compassion and makes all things new. Keep trusting in Him and He will not fail you.
    With my love

  43. pippa says:

    Aria is not forgotten, and neither are you. Love and hugs.

  44. Rachael says:

    You guys will never be forgotten and neither will Aria. Not a day goes by that i don’t flick onto your blog to just see how you are all doing. I have never met you but i think you are an amazing family and i find it hard to put into words regarding your loss but just so you know you are always in our thoughts. much love x

  45. Leeann says:

    I will not forget Aria, just as I never forget the children who passed in our family.

    I can’t remember the name of this song, it starts –

    I will never forget you my people
    I have carved you in the palm of my hand
    Does a mother forget her baby
    Or a woman the child in her womb
    Yet even if these people forget
    I will never forget my own.

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  47. Jo says:

    Drove past the church where you had Aria’s service and wondered how you guys were doing, especially coming up to Christmas. A big hug to you all. Jo

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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