Sunday, December 4, 2011

Twelve Weeks


Twelve weeks. In pregnancy, 12 weeks signals the ability to breathe easier. You can start to tell your friends and family the good news. If you have miscarried in the past, or had trouble getting pregnant, 12 weeks is a reason for hope in what has been a scary, don’t-dare-to-hope time. Although a full-term baby is never, ever a certainty, 12 weeks is significant. It means something.

What does 12 weeks mean in grieving the loss of a child? 12 horrible weeks—one for each of 12 wonderful years with our son here on earth? There is a certain symmetry about it, but where does that leave us in a few days when we reach 13 weeks, yet our son will never be thirteen?

48 comments:

NanaDiana said...

I have no words of wisdom for you- just an aching heart that can't continue to match your own. God bless you- xo Diana

LauraBeth said...

(((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))))

ella said...

Oh Anna, you still have such a long, painful road to travel and my heart aches when I think of all the milestones yet to come. Your family is never far from my thoughts; I feel honored to carry even the tiniest share of your burden. I only wish I could do more.

Prayers and hugs.

Leah C said...

Oh Anna. All I know to offer are {{hugs}} and prayers...

The Empress said...

The way you've marked this moment in time:

3 months: when you can breathe on your own.

And,yet, not...HE is going the breathing for you.

Love to you, always.

Diana said...

Jack is "all boy". It amazes me how MUCH he resembles your husband. You don't know me but I wanted you to know I am just one more person out in blog land that is very sorry for your loss. It is going to take a long time for things to start feeling normal again. Years even. You will always miss him, of course, but life goes on even if we can't understand how it possibly could. In time there will be less physical aching from missing him and all that could have been but now, it really sucks. I am praying for your family to hold each other up and have peace. The little signs from Jack are inspiring and intriguing. I wish you well.
PS. I'm also glad Margaret got to meet her heart throb. I can't imaging getting to meet David Cassidy or Lief Garret when I was a girl....I just would have gone crazy with delight.

Aimee said...

I sure remember my pregnancies like it was yesterday, so this post really hit me. I just can't imagine....

I'm crying & hurting right along side with you, even though I'm a complete stranger. :(

Jack sure was a very handsome (inside & out) young man, who would sure melt a lot of girls hearts.

Hang in there & continue to stay strong.....

Jackie Koll said...

Praying for you tonight.

Bri said...

Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)

Praying you feel the strong arms of your Father around you right *THIS* second, Anna. Hugs from a long-time reader.

Stimey said...

My heart breaks for you. Sending love.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it means something similar to what it means in pregnancy: if you got through the past 12 weeks, there is hope you can get through the next, and the next. one day at a time.

hang in there Anna.

the mama bird diaries said...

No words just love and prayers for you. xo

mollysmith222 said...

I live near you in Vienna. The day school was canceled and I read about "someone" losing their 12 year old son due to the floods, I cried. My 6 year old and 5 year old saw me and I told them why I was crying. My daughters response "oh mom, he is with God in heaven, please don't cry, I know he is OK" we aren't overly religious and I was surprised she said that. The pain you feel is something I can NOT imagine, and I am so sorry for your loss. So deeply sorry. Jack sounds amazing and I know in my heart he is "OK". I pray you can be OK, too. You sound like an amazing mother and you were both so blessed to have one another. My deepest condolences. Molly Smith

Varda said...

Anna, I saw the title of your post come up in my blogroll and I thought, "Can it really have been 12 weeks?" And no, I don't know how you're going to get past this next week, or when his next birthday rolls around, or when Margaret becomes 13 herself, the younger sister older than he will ever be.

My heart goes out to you. I think of you and your family every day, and am inspired by your grace in this, always, even on the days you rage and curse the heavens. Wishing you peace; knowing you will never again be completely at peace, but still, wishing for what of it may come to you, fold you in its wings, rock you to sleep.

Anonymous said...

i am yet another stranger who thinks about you and your family more than i ever thought i would. i can't even begin to imagine what you must be going through, but i give you so much credit for writing about it! this has helped me realize more than ever how impatient i can be over the most simple things...i think you're helping so many people thru this tragedy. jack's life is a testament to you and your husband's love and parenting. i hope that each day you find comfort in your memories, and the messages jack sends you. i pray for you, your husband and daughter that you all have the strength to keep growing together as a family. may you find peace knowing that he is in a wonderful place and you'll see him again someday. hugs

Megan said...

I was thinking about your heaven post and the post when you talk about the things he will never get to do or experience. The more I thought about it the more I realized that yes, there are things he will never get to experience, but he had the most important experience there is. He was loved deeply. He had a strong connection with his family and with god. Some people live a hundred years and never get that. I say that beats a cell phone and texting any day. So bravo for giving him the best and most important experience life has to offer.

Anonymous said...

I'll remember Jack 12 years from now & more if God gives me more years. His life was & is measured in more years than the 12 he was granted. His memories as shared by you make me think of him often. I still remember a friends loss dec. 18th of her 18 mo old b/c as a mom I know how vulnerable children make us. I remember for fear lest I forget how fragile life can be. Thinking of you so very often.
Sandie Brown

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

There is no symmetry, only learning to live without his presence and carrying him in your heart.

The load will lighten a bit, and that is okay, but that won't be for a while.

Looking at all the photos you took and those shared on facebook have given me pause. In his 12 short years, though he may avoided taking life on with gusto, he had an amazingly full life nonetheless.

I know it was not enough for you. I didn't know Jack, and it wasn't enough for me. My heart cracks for you daily. But man oh man, he packed a lot in. He read books I don't think I am smart enough to read. He had friends that were truly loyal. He saw sites. He climbed hills. He was a better brother than I was a sister.

Your heart, I wish could plaster band-aids to it.

I cannot.

Instead, I will say, "Jack Donaldson."

Lisa said...

My heart aches...12 weeks without your beautiful boy. Many prayers for you, as always.

sb said...

I do not presume to know your pain, or the loss you feel of every plan, dream, and comfort. I do, however, know what it is to reach the 12 week hump and breathe just a little easier, only to watch a sonogram tech type in the word "DEMISE" before telling me that my 21.5 week old son had died in my womb. I know that you cannot compare pain, only say "I'm sorry." I am so very, very sorry that you and your family has to go through this. My prayers reach out to you in hopes of offering any little comfort in your darkest moments. You are not alone.

Pseudo said...

My heart and prayers are with you as you go through this grieving. I wish I had better words for you, ones that could make you smile or give you a moment of grace, but I will pray for both for you.

agent99 said...

Sending love and hope your way........

Marissa said...

Anna,
My heart aches for you. I don't have the words that will make the pain go away, but there are things that Jack had that put him at an advantage--he did not have to deal with child abuse, hunger, homelessness, loneliness, a violent home or neighborhood, war, or lack of a good education. Many people live longer lives, but he has so many people who love him, and through your words I have become one of those people.
My thoughts and prayers are with you on a daily basis.

DawnGes said...

Love, prayers, hugs. Repeat.

susangail4 said...

Dear Anna, If only you could know how many of us mothers out here in blogland have grieved with you over your sweet little Jack.I read your posts to my sisters and I cry for you and with you and I know the deep hurt your heart has been dealt,No life is not fair not one little bit!

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

Hugs, Anna
Kim

Anonymous said...

hugs and prayers and love to you....Lisa G in CT

Anonymous said...

It means we will keeping loving your son and sending you prayers even MORE next week. I think of you so very much.

Suzy said...

Praying, praying, praying, and we keep praying, praying, praying. I tightened, retied, fluffed up my blue bows this morning. I love you!

Leslie said...

Oh Anna, I am so sorry. So very very very sorry. I continue the onslaught of prayers to our Creator on your behalf. On Tim's and Margaret's behalf.

Fueled by coffee and Coke Zero....... said...

I cannot imagine that it has been 12 weeks -- seems like a minute and at the same time it seems like a thousand years! You all are in our thoughts and prayers all the time (I say that alot, don't I?) -- it seems so feeble, so insufficient, and yet, there is nothing else to offer with such a monumental, unfathomable loss. We have started decorating the outside of the house with blue lights. Eden, Madison and Michael have specific ideas about our Narnia lamp post and other things out front, and we will tackle that this week. All done in loving memory of Jack and prayerfully for your beautiful family. I will post pix on my blog when it is complete -- (((hugs))) much love -- Mariann Alicea PS -- ........you are always (and I mean it) always welcome to knock on our door (we don't have a doorbell) --

Meredith Self said...

Awww. That which is marked by time. And That which is timeless and unbound by time. Sending so much love.

Marinka said...

I, too, have no words of wisdom and yet so many of your readers do. I continue to pray for you and your family constantly.

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna, I hate this for you. I really do. Stupid thirteen.

I'm holding you and Margaret and Tim extra tightly in my thoughts and heart, this week, next week, and beyond. I won't stop either.

love,
jbhat

Amanda said...

The passage of time and grieving, too slow, too fast. I am so sorry.

Rach said...

Just remember to breathe and take it one moment at a time. All these milestones are so painful.

We continue to hold you and your family in our hearts and prayers.

Hugs,
Rach

Dinosaur Mommy said...

*hugs*

Pray for you!

meghan said...

i think about you and your family every day. no wisdom, just thoughts and prayers. your loss is unimaginable and your strength is truly inspiring.

A Speckled Trout said...

Such a beautiful boy.

Patricia said...

I am also just another 'unknown' reader, but, also a mother of a son and daughter - just like you are and will always be....I want you to know that my heart aches and my chest hurts for you - I know that can't begin to make any difference, but I just want you to know that you are in my thoughts every day, and my prayers every night. Jack is in the arms of our loving heavenly Father, and one day in the distant future, you will all be together again. God Bless you.....

The Mommy Therapy said...

I have been taking some time off from blogging and reading blogs the last few weeks and just went through your last five or six posts.

I don't have any magical words, but your posts and honesty about this painful process still move me to tears. Even during the time I haven't been reading I still pray for you and think of you and your family's loss often. I pray for your ability to walk through this and find peace sometime, some how in the future.

Thank you for sharing so openly, it truly is a generous gift to all of us reading.

And, you looked AMAZING at the AMA's. Love the pictures of you, Tim and Margaret. Beautiful!

Erica said...

I hope you keep writing, Anna. Keep going with your journal of grief and of memories. For as long as it goes. ( And you're a wonderful writer, to boot. )

I also hope you get plenty of other people's writing (or other artforms) on grief. It helps a tiny bit to connect with others grief, yes? Here is one of some many: it's a documentary film called Fierce Grace. There is both grief and great hopefulness it it. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/ramdass/film.html

Mary S said...

Thank you for sharing Jack's life and legacy with us. As total strangers we are all sharing in your sorrow and holding your family up in prayer. Always, always, holding you up in prayer. Never forget. Your writing continues to prompt us all to examine our relationship with our Lord and to hold our family close and to reach out to others. You and Jack are doing this missionary work together.

Heidi said...

Love you. Thinking of you.

The Green Family said...

I'm here, and judging from the comments you have a lot of friends and family here with you too.

12 weeks does have meaning, in pregnancy and grieving. Each week has meaning, as it means you're moving through this mess.

I know I'm a small voice in a room full of many. I'm here as long as you need me to be.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me or my family - but we know you and your beautiful family through your blog and mutual friends. Please know you are never far from our thoughts...tonight as I took my 7 year old son to church for CCD he asked to stop and light a candle and pray. When I asked him what he wanted to pray for he said, "for Jack Donaldson and his family." always in our prayers...always. xxoo

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Your FB post on this took me aback. How can it have been 12 weeks? Sending you all of my love. Always

PeachPrenni said...

No words for this one my dear. I can't even begin to imagine what this feels like. I would imagine that time goes slower than ever...each second like an hour glass. I know God will not allow that to last though. Time...only time can heal. Loving you and praying!
Annie P.