The Name: Afton's Story, Part Four - Skillful Cook
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The Name: Afton's Story, Part Four

This post is part of a ten-post series I'm sharing about the life and loss of our son, Afton. Click here to read more of Afton's story.

Afton's Story

We didn’t have a name picked out yet. Since the beginning, our baby name wishlist had been sort of high-maintenance: I wanted a nature-inspired name, bonus if it ended with an “n.” Bjork wanted a short name with a Scandinavian feel. 😌 We're “those” people.

The day before Afton was born, Bjork’s parents came to visit us in the hospital. I was coming in and out of sleep, and they sat talking quietly in the chairs next to my hospital bed. Their conversation shifted to poetry and music, and in my hazy state of mind I heard Bjork say something about Nickel Creek and the song “Sweet Afton.” I’m not saying this to be dramatic - I honestly felt like a little bolt of lightning zapped me. I snapped wide awake. Afton. With Bjork and his parents still talking about poetry, I grabbed my phone and started googling.

Afton: a river in Scotland, for my nature theme.

Afton: a Swedish word that means afternoon or evening, for Bjork's Scandinavian feel.

Afton: a name ending with an “n,” for my weird enjoyment of names ending with “n”.

And “Sweet Afton”, one of our favorite songs.

I started crying.

Bjork looked at me, mid-conversation, and asked me if I was okay. Yes, I said. Yes, I’m okay.

That night, we talked about the name. It felt so right. “Let’s sleep on it,” we said. And then things took a fast turn - we went from bedrest to emergency c-section at just 23 weeks and 3 days. We still hadn’t picked our baby’s name.

The room emptied to give us a minute alone before the surgery, and Bjork and I could hardly see each other through our tears. We were about to meet our son, but it was way too early. Lung development, long term health complications, survival… the weight of it all was suffocating. We stayed quiet, holding hands. And then, in the silence: “Afton?” Bjork said gently. “Afton.” I said back.

Sweet Afton is called a hymn for peace, and it’s so fitting. We played this song during Afton’s birth, through his last moments on earth as we held him close, and once more as we laid him to rest in peace forever.

Flow gently, my sweet Afton. 💙 You are so loved.

Afton's Story
I’m sharing more about life with and after Afton on my personal Instagram account. I'd love to have you follow along here.
Filed Under: Afton Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    The love that shows through your writings about your sweet Afton is so pure and beautiful and strong. He is so lucky to have you two to love him. Sending you all love from Australia. X

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sending you love and prayers for your healing. Although it makes me cry every time, your writing is beautiful and you capture the immense love of birth. Truly heartbreaking.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Although we do not know each other, I truly care about you and am so sorry for what you are going through. My heart aches for you and I pray that you will receive the comfort and peace that only He can give. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. I’m so glad you have each other because it is so clear that you have a strong loving bond. My heart and prayers go out to you. 💔

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    My husband and I experienced a similar loss in 1978. Our beautiful Melissa, born by emergency C-section at 30 weeks, lived 28 days in ICU at what is now Regions Hospital.
    My heart aches for you…

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I will think of your precious babe every time I listen to Nickelcreek. I have been thinking of you and your family; and know that you are loved by many people you have never met. I just lost my dad at age 57 to cancer, three days after Christmas, and 2 years before that I lost an angel baby. I think about my dad holding my baby Hope up in heaven, and I also think about your grandma holding sweet Afton up in heaven. Even if we know God is good, there are so many things on this Earth that don’t feel good. All we can do is trust and love along the way. I’m praying for you! ❤️ “The Lord is near to the broken hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit”. Psalms 34:18

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thank you so much Megan, and I’m so sorry for the loss of both your dad and your little one. Life is so hard. I’m honored that you would share your story with us. ♡

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m in tears as I listen to the song by Nickle Creek. My heart goes out to you as celebrate the short life of your dear Afton, and you grieve his passing to the Heavenly Realm. May you find comfort in the knowledge that he will forever be an Angel in your lives. As you pray for his soul, he will be praying and guiding yours. God bless you on your spiritual journey.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so, so sad to read about this. I also lost my son in August when my cervix dilated at 19 weeks 5 days. My daughter named our son George, after Curious George, and we also got to spend a few hours with him. Losing a baby like this is the hardest thing in the world and it is difficult for other people to fully understand if they haven’t been through it. If you ever need to talk to someone who has experienced the same tragic, earth shattering loss, I’m happy to listen. Hope you guys are finding some peace. <3

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay and Bjork – Afton Mountain is also the name of a special mountain that is part of the Blue Ridge mountain range in Virginia. The history of the mountain and area is rich and thought provoking. It is an incredibly beautiful and spiritual place. I am so sorry for your loss.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    This story touches my spirit so deeply. I too believe in forever families and know you will see your sweet Afton again someday.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve been think of that song since you’ve started posting of your Afton. What a beautiful song to help heal, remember, mourn, and love.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, saying thank you for sharing your stories about sweet Afton doesn’t feel like the right thing to say, but I’m not sure how to phrase what I want to say. I am honored that you are sharing your love and your pain with us readers. You are deeply touching my heart, and I hope that this sharing provides you some comfort. Many many prayers and blessings to you and Bjork and family.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your writing touches my soul. The depth of your grief is palpable. You express your grief in such a beautiful way. May you continue to find comfort in your writings ad in the love of your families. God bless you.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    There is a gorgeous Minnesota Park on the St. Croix River call Afton State Park. It’s what I immediately thought of when I heard the beautiful name of your sweet son! I lost my twin sons when they were born at 22 weeks almost 14 years ago and my heart breaks for your loss. I wish you comfort and peace as you go through this.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Im sorry for your loss. There are really no words.
      I’d really like to speak with you about them.

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I had never heard the song, but just finished listening as I raised a prayer for you and your sweet Afton. Yes, the perfect name. I loved reading about how this name for your son came to you.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay & Bjork–
    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your precious son, Afton. Sending you love & wishing you peace from Philadelphia.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for sharing this love story. Sending lots of love and light from Santa Monica.

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, you are so special. I cried when I read the post of Afton’s passing, and reading these amazing pieces brings tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this intense time in your life. You are bringing so much comfort to your fans who care so much about you.

    Today I saw that you have been commenting on posts below. Wow! May G-d continue to give you strength and help you heal.

    Thank you for including us in your life. Love and blessings from Los Angeles.

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Each of these entries has consistently made me cry. They are so raw and touching and devastating all at once. After hearing this story, the name Afton sounds simply perfect.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. There is so much love out here in the wide world for all three of you, and I hope the writing process helps you heal.

    Sending all my love and support from Germany,