The Necklace: Afton's Story, Part Five - Skillful Cook
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The Necklace: Afton's Story, Part Five

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

I’m a jewelry minimalist. I wear my wedding ring, “pearl” earrings, and maybe a necklace on fancy occasions. But this year for Christmas, Bjork surprised me: jewelry!

I lifted the red velvet box open and found a necklace laying inside. “It’s a mother’s necklace,” Bjork explained. The diamond was in the position for the 4th month of the year - April. Of course. The month that Afton was due. It was beautiful, simple, perfect. The clasp was a little tricky, so I asked Bjork put it on for me. As he lifted my hair and secured the clasp, I literally said: gosh, this feels like a movie… like foreshadowing, doesn’t it?

I wore my necklace for four blissful days. And then our world collapsed.

I cried as I hurried to put my wedding ring, my earrings, and my now precious necklace into a little plastic cup in preparation for the c-section. I handed it off to Bjork as they started wheeling my bed out of the room. It felt all wrong; I needed more time with this baby. I needed to be wearing that necklace.

When Bjork finally got into the operating room, he grabbed my hand through the tangle of monitor cords and opened his other palm to show me: he was holding the necklace. He held that necklace all through Afton’s birth. And twelve hours later, with the necklace back on, I held my baby in that chair in the NICU, and I remember little else in that moment but our touching skin, our mirrored heartbeats, and my necklace as a perfect companion to his little hand on my chest.

It’s only been 19 days, but time is swift. When I look at pictures of our last hours with Afton, I now have to squeeze my eyes shut so I can imagine exactly how warm he was, and exactly what his fingers felt like, and exactly how fast his heart was beating. How did it feel again? EXACTLY how did it feel? Please, Time, just give me this one vivid memory. In my most desperate moments, I hold the necklace and Afton feels just a little more real. Like it was all as sweet and hard and holy as those deep parts of my memories tell me that it was.

I’m still a jewelry minimalist, but my collection has gained one perfect, permanent piece.

I miss you, Afton. 💙

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

    Your words are beautiful, Lindsay. I’ve been keeping up with this series every morning, and your words are so touching and moving. Keeping you and Bjork and Afton in my thoughts, and thank you for sharing your family’s story with us.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Good morning to you both,
    Just a virtual hug from me to you…I can’t stop thinking about you guys and Lindsay, you AMAZE me with your gorgeous words. Afton was a very blessed little boy to have you as his Mommy and Bjork as his Daddy. I love, how in almost every picture Bjork is gently kissing you or holding you…I can feel the love jump right off of the pages.
    Give sweet Sage a hug from me too! I know that my our two beloved pooches always feel our emotions and I am sure that Sage is feeling your pain. xoxo

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m glued to these posts. And once again, you remind me just how strong and fierce a mothers’ love is for a child. The maternal bond is unbreakable, unchangeable and unfathomable and is my only earthly reminder of how strong the Father’s love for us is.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    How can I endure the small heartbreak that comes each day with reading your posts? I can’t begin to imagine exactly how you feel, but I have two very young children both delivered emergency c section and can understand the overwhelming fear, joy, pain, and hope. My prayers continue for your healing both body and soul and for the future children you are sure to have

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Another beautiful post and such a beautiful picture. Your love for each other and for Afton is so evident in your words. I hope that sharing these stories continues to help heal your heart.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay and Bjork – thank you for sharing your painful journey with us. I know that you have enjoyed reading Brene’ Brown, I am currently reading “Rising Strong” and have just finshed Chapter 2 and about day 2 of our stories. I will continue to pray for strength for you and Bjork and your families. You write so beautifully and your love for Afton shines through your words about him. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh Lindsay, I just want to hug you. I’m praying (yes, I mean that literally) that your posts are helping your healing. The Father knows.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is so very sweet. What a beautiful baby boy! You will raise him in heaven, He knows you and loves you dearly.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I continue to follow this journey of yours and I want you to know how much it means to someone like me. Selfishly, It somehow gives me comfort and I can hear my own voice within your words. Many, many years ago I lost a child much younger than Afton, but I did so alone. I remember just me at the end of the hall in a hospital room with a small white rose taped to the door so that the staff would know that I had lost a child and would give me whatever I needed, mostly quiet & gentle kindness… My marriage did not survive, but what I do still have is that little white rose. It’s the only thing that says to me alone that “I had a child”. I am praying for your comfort and peace. Continue to write, we are all here listening and sending you love.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      My heart aches for you Angie. A few days after we came home, I had the thought – what if I had to do this alone? – and just thinking about all those warrior mommies who go through tough things like this all by themselves was enough to break my heart all over again. Thank you so much for reading about Afton and for sharing your experience with us. XO

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve looked forward to your beautiful words about Sweet Afton daily. Your love for him is soul touching. And, what a blessing to have such a wonderful husband to travel on this difficult journey. Prayers and hugs to you both.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your words continue to inspire me. They read as a beautiful and gentle tribute to your sweet boy, Afton. You will always feel that pull at your heart but your dear son will be with you always and forever. Even when it gets hazy and hard to recall those precious moments, that necklace will be holding close the things you thought you’d forgotten. Thank you again for sharing your story.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    You have all my sympathy for your loss of little Afton. Thank you for writing about him. I love that little guy. My heart goes out to you.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have been debating whether or not I send a note since your first post about Afton. My sister carried her twin boys for 22 weeks 4 days before she started dialating. Though I cannot comprehend your lose or my sister’s, I feel the pain in my heart for both of you. She has twin girls now, but her boys are always in her thoughts and mine. I just wanted you to know that I have asked Lucas and Ryan every night to show Afton around heaven, give him a tour. He is not alone up there, he has a few friends.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So sweet to imagine that, and I’m so sorry for the loss of those baby boys. Lucas and Ryan – so cute. Thank you for telling us about them.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    thank you Lindsey for your beautiful story, your beautiful baby boy and your beautiful soul. I lost my daughter at 11 mos. Your posts leave me breathless but I understand some of your thoughts and grief.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’m so sorry Michelle. Thinking about losing your daughter at 11mo – it’s almost just too heavy to even comprehend. Much love to you.

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh. Oh, no.

    I just checked your blog for the first time in several weeks (the last time I stopped by, you had just announced you were having a boy) and as soon as I saw the first line of this post, my heart dropped into my stomach.

    I am so, so, so sorry. I can only imagine the enormity of the grief you are feeling right now. I wish so much that this had not happened and that you had been able to keep your sweet baby with you for even a little bit longer. I wish you both peace and healing as you recover from this horrible loss.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    your words are perfect. I’m so thankful that you are sharing sweet friend. I have many friends/relatives that have been in a similar situation. Unfortunately. But when God speaks through you, He also uses you to comfort others. Always here for you, always praying. <3

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay and Bjork…I am so sorry for your Loss….May you find the peace and courage to help you through this difficult time…With Prayers…Teena

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and the value of beautiful Afton’s life. May the Lord open the hearts and minds of many to understand how precious life is. God is the author of life. You and Bjork are indeed a blessing to us.

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, you have been through the most difficult pain anyone can imagine. But writing about it honors Afton’s memory in such a beautiful way. He would be so proud of you and I know in his shortest of lives he felt more love than most do in a lifetime. And he obviously did a great job of showing you how much he loves you and his daddy, just by being Afton, because it is pouring out of you. I’ve never met you but I care so much about what you’re going through. Air hugs to you…

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for sharing Afton’s story. I pray for you and Bjork each day after I read his story. May God bring you comfort and peace as only he can.

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your writing is beautiful and I have commented a few times already. I’d like to say how nice it is to see a few pictures of you smiling at your baby son Afton. After all, he did bring you joy, if only for a few short hours. The lovely way you share about his tiny perfect hands, giving him a bath, his heart beating against your skin is so special. You’re a strong woman to share this story with the world. I look forward to each post, although my tears flow through each one. I pray your strength helps you through this time and your writing is healing for you.

  22. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your story is so touching !!!I also had a c section 34 years ago , please keep me posted on the wonderful journey you and your family are beginning and enjoy every minute , they really grow so fast.

  23. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have no words to express how sorry I am about my last comment , I had no clue about your loss , this is the first time I have read your blog , please forgive me , may you and your husband find strength to move forward . Just know you are not alone .

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