Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unimaginable Realities - For Anna See

Jack, 1st Day of School, Sept, 2011
I've had a few moments in my life, very few, where what my eyes see, my mind can't understand.

Friday morning gave me one of these moments. While on twitter that day, I saw this tweet, from Kate: "Please keep Anna, from An Inch of Gray in your prayers, they lost their son yesterday."

I stared at Kate's typed words, blinking -- confused, "...lost? Jack can't be lost...I just read Anna's back to school post Thursday morning. Her beautiful boy's photo was right there, he was dressed in khaki shorts and a blue polo shirt, leaving for his first day of seventh grade. The picture was just taken, it can't be him."

Looking at the tweet, I didn't want to click over to Anna's blog.

I didn't want to find something there that would make my heart pound even harder than it did with Kate's message.

Still, what I just read on the screen nagged at me to go and check that everything was all right, and when I did arrive at Anna's site, I let out a sigh of relief-- there was the picture of Anna's son, Jack: boyishly smiling, holding up a sign with the words, "7th grade," just as I had left him Thursday morning. There was no new post of tragic news. It had to have been a mistake -- I must have misunderstood the tweet.

I decided to read through the comments on her post, just to be sure. Midway through them, I sat, stunned, as I saw the messages shift from, "Wow! So handsome!" to "I am so deeply sorry, Anna."

It felt like there was a crack in the earth.

I buried my face in hands, and wept. Sobbed.

This made no sense. I'm looking at Jack right here, in the wistful back to school post that his mother, Anna,  published on Wednesday. She tagged it, "where did my babies go?"

Tears poured out of my eyes as I thought of how, if I'm not able to understand this new reality, how can Jack's mother, Anna?

Anna had indeed lost her beautiful son, Jack, when he was swept away in the torrential flood waters that ran through Virginia on Thursday.

That is the unimaginable reality of Anna's life right now.

I don't understand what my eyes see.

There's nothing we can do, no machine to turn back time, no method of making this terrifying day a bad dream Anna can wake up from.

But something tells me, something makes me positive, that if we post letters to Anna on our sites, sending words out to her and her family, that if we leave her comments full of love, wishing we could shoulder some of her pain, telling her of how her beloved beautiful boy is in the hearts of so many, that if we fall down on our faces in prayer for her, she'll find strength in us.

I believe this.

I have to.

Because nothing about Jack being gone makes sense to me right now.

And I can't bear the thought of not being able to do anything for Anna -- for Anna See -- who has lost her baby.


If you feel moved to do something for Anna, please consider writing a post, or letter, or a story, anything you feel might offer her comfort, and link up HERE: at  Kate's blog, The Big Piece of Cake.

Consider it your card, your flowers, your support for Anna.
You can also leave a comment on her last blog post about her two beautiful children on their first day of school.

But there is one thing that I would ask of everyone - if you know Anna or have just heard of her: Please pray for her and her family.

UPDATED: If you would like to do something in the way of a donation, Anna and her family have requested they be made to Samaritan's Purse.


  1. I've been reading Anna's blog for a while now. Someone else, another reader, actually sent me an email, notifying me of what happened. I have had their family in my constant thoughts and prayers. Thanks you for notifying us of ways to help.

  2. None of it makes any sense to me eiher. And like like you, I feel like I'm just grasping for some way to help. And nothing could ever be enough. This is the best we can do though. It counts for something - your caring and your prayers.

    Much love to you.

  3. It's completely unimaginable to me. My friend at Stimeyland shared her story - both the first day pictures and the horror of what happened just a few days later. All I could think of was that I wanted to be there for her, even though we had never met. Thank you for the information on how to give just a little bit of ourselves to someone who has lost so much.

  4. I went by Anna's blog when I saw Jill's post, and seeing the pictures of her boy, just about broke me. I cannot imagine her loss. I don't know what to do except pray for her, think of her and her family. Thank you for sharing this Alexandra.

  5. I pray for her acceptance and patience.

  6. tears. i can not imagine..i am so sorry...prayers...

  7. I am devastated as well. Heartbroken. The news absolutely brought me to my knees.

    I so did not want it to be true.

  8. This was what broke me on her post: "where did my babies go?"

    So sad...

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I had missed the news and then saw a tweet this morning but wasn't sure what had happened. This is unbelievable. So incredibly heartbreaking. Sending them all my love.

  10. Unimaginable. I don't know Anna, but my heart goes out to her and I will include her in my thoughts and prayers. God bless her and her family.

  11. I'm running out of words, this loss is so profound.


  12. Anna has posted today. A simple message. A place to leave more loving support. A place to congregate to grieve.

  13. Yes. You said perfectly what a whole community is feeling in our hearts.

  14. Today is the first time I read a tweet about Anna and her loss. I went over to her blog, and the newest post was simply a picture of her son, titled, Our Beloved Son. Never visited her blog before, I scrolled down to read an older post, trying to make some sense of what happened. The post before that was dated Sept 7th, picturing her daughter and son's first day of school. I went back to the latest post, just staring at the dates... at the shock of it all. And even though I don't know Anna before this moment, my heart just broke. I was overwhelmed and felt devastated. My mommy heart just cried and cried for her.

    I couldn't imagine what she's going through right now. If I, who never knew her, never knew her son, could literally feel as if my heart's been slashed with a knife, I know that for Anna it is a million times more painful.

    Even now, I'm still left speechless. Stunned. Shocked. I'm praying, praying, praying for her and her family.

  15. I wrote this on another blog, but your words bring the thought to mind as well: hug your babies. Hug your babies even if they're taller than you are, or older now than you are when you birthed them...hug your babies HARD. This news shatters us all b/c the loss is so huge as to defy any attempt to organize a response, other than to offer gifts of love, prayer, patience, and infinite compassion. The See family--that beautiful beautiful boy--but even so, there are dark, dark days ahead for them.

  16. The worst thing in the world.

  17. This is all I've been thinking about and I just feel so sad.

  18. Thank you, all, for the comments I've seen you leave for Anna.

    A horrible, horrible time in a family's life.

    I don't know, we don't know, what else to do, but pray, and be there in our hearts for her.

    Thank you.

  19. My heart is aching for her..
    I'm on my way now.

  20. I don't know Anna, but my heart just hurts so badly for her. I can't imagine...I just can't. You're so right that all we can do is pray for her family. Times like this make me feel at such a loss.

  21. I hadn't heard of Anna before this past weekend and, like you, I couldn't believe that that smiling boy was gone.

    I still can't believe it.

  22. I left a mother should ever lose her child. I wish them (and you) comfort and peace.

  23. I saw this news on Scary Mommy. I had never heard of Anna, but being from Virginia and currently living just west of DC in West Virginia, I knew about the flooding that plagued the area all last week. I clicked through to Anna's blog to learn more and the sight of her son smiling in his back-to-school photo just about knocked the wind out of me.

    I don't know her, but I left a comment. "I'm sorry," didn't seem to suffice, so I simply told her that my heart ached for her unimaginable loss. Which also doesn't seem to suffice, but it was the truth.

    It's like Scary Mommy said - children should come with a lifetime guarantee. They just should.

  24. I haven't been able to stop thinking about Anna since I read Marinka's post. Dear God, that poor woman. I'm glad she believes in prayer, because I just can't stop praying for her.

  25. I have been sitting here crying as I read and saw pictures on her site. There are no words. Praying for that dear family and all they will face. Thanks for writing about this.

  26. Here I was thinking this would be a 9/11 post - and for some reason, this is just so much worse. A tragedy is a tragedy. I don't know Anna or her blog, but my heart goes out to her. I simply cannot even fathom such loss.

  27. Thank you, again, to everyone. There are 15 posts linked up at Kate's place, The Big Piece of Cake, written for Anna.

    I am hoping that she finds some peace, and respite through our love for her at this time.

    I can't imagine the dark days she's in right now.

    Thank you, all, so much.

    Please do visit Anna, at An Inch of Gray, and leave a message for her, her family, for Jack. I would love for her to feel surrounded by 10,000 prayers.

  28. After losing Hadley after just a few days of life I can only imagine the pain that comes with 12 years of having your child here. My heart is breaking for her and the intensity of her anguish.

  29. This is really the worst nightmare realized. Unfathomable. Thank you for thinking of her and sending her kind thoughts and prayers - I know she appreciates them. xo

  30. My heart is breaking...I didn't know Anna and this sad sad tragedy, but I will be on my way over and say prayers for them.

  31. :*( I do not know Anna, but I am so terribly sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. It just doesn't make any sense. I will keep Anna and her family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Stopping over there now.

  32. heartbreaking! I'm shaking my head in disbelief. She and her family will be in my prayers.

    I'm on my way over to her...

  33. I don't know Anna at all, but I saw the tweets after it happened. Such an awful tragedy. My heart goes out to her.

  34. How heartbreaking. I can't even begin to imagine....

    sending prayers for her family.

  35. Thank you for sharing this with us. I can't pretend to imagine what it feels like to have lost a child, so I won't. Instead, I'll just pray for her family and send all the wishes that I hoped to receive when I lost my dad. Thanks again.

  36. I will keep Anna & her family in my prayers. Such a beautiful boy, what a terrible loss.


  37. That handsome photo is just so heartbreaking. No parent should have to go through that. I'm keeping them all in my thoughts.

  38. Beautiful. I am headed over to give my support. What a senseless tragedy for a beautiful young man.

  39. Heading over there now. Thanks for spreading the word.

  40. I'm so grateful for you, Empress, for letting me know this terrible, terrible thing, the other day. Even though I don't know her, I have sent my condolences. I can't even imagine how...this must feel, how he could be there and then gone, how something like this is even allowed to happen.

    Her beach pictures of a smiling, happy family so utterly innocent to the darkness that is about to enshroud them, haunt me.

    It is in times like these that I remember what a dear friend of mine who just always told things the way they were, said to me.

    I was crying, so broken hearted, over the sudden, shocking death of my beloved dad who was such a good man, the best kind of man, a Tim Russert kind of man. And just like Tim, he was fine and then he was dead. In an instant. At way too young of an age.

    As I cried, I asked my friend why God would do this. Why God would take my dad at such a young age. Why God would take such a good person.

    My friend said to me just as plain as day, "Honey, don't you understand why? God took your daddy cause God don't want no losers up there in heaven with him. He wants only the best."

    I know it sounds so trite at a time like this, but I believe those words. I will keep up my prayers for this family.

  41. these the sorts of things don't make sense.

  42. It's still unfathomable -- life changing so horribly -- so unfairly -- in that white space between the comments. The contrast is too much to bear between those beautiful schoolday pictures and what followed. I just hear a howling between my ears. Sucking white noise. I've been plastering my kid with so many kisses and squeezed her pop-eyed with hugs but I won't explain why...

  43. It never does make any sense when a child dies, does it? I am holding them in my heart as well...

  44. so, so sad. my heart breaks for them all.

  45. You wrote it well, my friend. I can't imagine being a mother who has lost one of her babies. I suppose you are always looking around every corner no matter what your brain tells you.

    I hope she has good friends and family to help her. And I wish I could, too.

  46. I still cannot process this devastation. I've been thinking about it ever since I heard the terrible news a couple of days ago.

    Thank you for telling me about their charity of choice. I'm off to donate in honor of this sweet young soul and his family.



  47. My mama heart breaks into a million pieces for her. And for the whole family. And I have only one question, WHY? I'm so, SO sorry....

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. One of the awful realities of this tragedy is that as much as we pray and support and weep for her, our lives do go on.

    We write blog posts. We reply to silly comments. We tweet. And then we read another post about Anna and it comes crashing back. The unimaginable pain. The intense grief over this unbearable loss.

    And then our lives continue. Because they must. But hers? I simply can't imagine her life. It hurts too much. So we move forward. We say or do something silly on someone's blog post. Or on our own.

    And then it hits me again.
    Oh, that sweet boy is lost.

    This one experience is a microcosm of suffering that has all of us mothers (and friends, siblings, human beings) on our knees.

    So thank you for giving your voice to this. For reminding us all. For bringing us back to what matters.

    Because it's not about us.
    But I am humbled and haunted.

    And all my words are wrong.

    I wish so much that someone could make it right again.

    My prayers are with them.

  50. I am still in shock about her news. It's too much and it hurts the heart and it's pain that I can understand, the worst pain in the universe. It leaves you gasping for air, you know? It's a horrific thing, isn't it? It changes your life, your family's life, forever. This type of tragedy, it's not something you can get over. I'm sorry I'm so down and even though I'm praying hard, my heart is bleeding for this mother, for the father, for this little sister, and for the beautiful life lost.

  51. Sweetheart.

    I read this yesterday, and have thought of it ever since. These people ... my heart goes out to them, so so much. Breaking. Sending them a blinding Force of love and compassion and strength.


  52. How strange. I just read someone else's post on this and went there and read the news this morning. It is truly awful. A horrific tragedy in every since of the word.

    It is hard for me, these realities. I want to believe that my sons are safe in a little bubble and nothing or no one could ever hurt them. But I know it's not true. Still I wanted to go there and offer support.

    Thank you for letting your readers know. I believe in the power of prayer and hope it comforts their family.



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