Guess How Much I Love You - Skillful Cook
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Guess How Much I Love You

The post below is a note written by Bjork for baby Afton. Thank you to all who are continuing to keep Lindsay and Bjork in your thoughts and prayers. - Jenna

Guess How Much I Love You |

Our sweet Afton was born on December 31st and died peacefully in the arms of his mom in the early morning hours of January 1st.

Our grief is deep and wraps around us. It seeps through our skin and into our hearts. We feel it not just because of how hard this is, but also because of how good it was for the few short hours that Afton was with us.

We held him on our chest. We felt his heartbeat. We whispered in his ear how much we love him and always will. We gave him a bath and wrapped him in a little blanket. We told him about his family. His mom and dad. His grandma and grandpa. His aunts and uncles. We read him the book Guess How Much I Love You.

He gave me so much in the few hours that he was here. He gave me the gift of being a dad and showed me how much I love it. He gave me the chance to hold my son and tell him a story. He gave my parents a grandson.

And he gave me an image that will forever be imprinted on my mind; his mom, after being awake for 36 hours, after having her body opened up and her baby taken out, sitting on a hospital chair in a NICU room lit only by the light from monitors and flashing equipment, surrounded by crushing fear and grief but using all her strength to hold it back long enough to create a 1 lbs 3 oz pocket of peace where she could comfort her baby and make sure he heard his mom's voice as he left this world...

“Afton, sweet Afton. It's okay baby. Your mom and dad are here. We love you so much. We love you so much Afton.”

It was in that moment, with Afton taking his last few breaths as he laid on Lindsay's chest, that I felt a deep and profound sense of wholeness and holiness. Never again will something be this hard and this good.

Lindsay: Forever and ever.

Afton: Can you guess how much I love you? I love you right up to the moon and back.

Guess How Much I Love You |

During this time, several readers have asked if there’s an organization or cause that would be best to give to in Afton’s name. Here’s a quick note from Lindsay and Bjork for where to give if you feel led. Click here to reach the donation page:

This experience has given us a profound appreciation for the meaning of family. We know that there are many others, both here and around the world, whose families have also been broken by tragedy.

We hope to honor Afton’s memory by pouring into the lives of hurting children who don’t have families of their own to care for them. Bjork and I lived and worked at the Children’s Shelter of Cebu orphanage for one year and saw firsthand the loving and lifesaving ways that children are cared for in times when they are most vulnerable.

Thank you for being a family to these children with us, and for doing so in memory of our precious son Afton.

Bjork, Lindsay and Afton

Filed Under: Afton Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Not a day goes by that I haven’t thought about all of you. Will continue to keep you close in prayer.
    May God bless you!!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I feel the same here….My heart goes out to all of you. You have touched me deeply. May his memory bring you PEACE

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    You have all been in my thoughts and prayers since I read the news on the 31st of December, about your sweet baby boy, Afton. Sending you all nothing but love.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Each day I think of you three, despite being complete strangers. I wish that you’re enveloped in love and peace. You’re wished well from near, I have no doubt. Plesae know that those of us from afar are holding you close in mind and heart.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have thought of you all every single day lately. I’ve told other women I know about your blog and about your brave and incredibly important story. We (your readers, myself, my friends who are now your readers) are all holding your family in our hearts. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I’m sure it will be a lifeline to someone going through something similar. You’re not alone and neither are they.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Despite being complete strangers, I have honestly thought about you three every day since I heard the news.
    I can’t even imagine the pain you’re going through right now. You’re an amazing pair of people, beautiful inside and out. The world is lucky to have you in it, and it was lucky to have Afton for the time that it did.
    Sending lots of hope, love and peace your way <3.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Such a profoundly beautiful post. I hope that you two can find comfort in the fact that Afton knew he was loved by so many in his brief time on earth. <3

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    My heart goes out to you both. You are beautiful people and will make wonderful parents. You will get there again. Lots and lots of love in your time of grieving.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Dear Lindsay and Bjork
    With great mourning I follow your heavy path from the other side of the world. I can not imagine a worse fate than losing my son, who has barely seen the light of the world. Since I learned of your fate, I keep our two-year-old son firmly in my arms, and do not try to imagine what it would be like to lose him. We think of you and join you in our prayers. We sincerely wish you as much strength as possible during these difficult hours. Your Kathrine, Jan and Christian.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thinking of you and precious Afton often. Cervical incompetence is just so unfair and heartbreaking – I lost my twins under similar circumstances and the pain of watching/holding your child as they pass is something that simply cannot be described. Sending you peace and love.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your time with Afton was so beautiful but also full of great sorrow. I am so sorry for the pain and loss you have. There is a blog in which a Mom, Laura, shares her journey through this same loss. I mention it for any help it may bring to you.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Astounded by the grace with which you’ve handled this, which I am sure is providing comfort to other people dealing with loss. X

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Dear Lindsay and Bjork! I am so-so devastated about your loss! I cried when I learned about it at FBPro… There’re no words to express what you’re feeling now! It’s So Very Difficult! Only time will heal… But you have to get through this. Because good things WILL happen for you! They will!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    First of all, I’m sorry for your loss, not in the sense that I pity you, because you’ve made it clear that’s not what you want. What I’m trying to say by “I’m sorry” is “I wish there was another way for things to be, in which you wouldn’t be feeling so much pain, but I know there isn’t”.
    I lost a daughter in a somewhat comparable situation 3 years ago. I don’t mean to pretend like I know how you’re feeling, or disrespect your grief, but merely tell you what I’ve learned.
    1. Mourn all you have to, take your time, take gentle care of yourselves, don’t rush into anything; but remember that, for Afton’s sake, you have to get better. That’s what he would have wanted.
    2. The path to getting better won’t be easy, but it will make you stronger. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Too bad you had to learn it the hard way. Some days will be better, others worse. The progress is not always a straight line forward, and this is perfectly normal.
    3. You are not alone. Apart from this virtual community that sends love and positive energy to you, remember that things like these happen to a lot of people. This is said not to put you down, but to remind you that this situation is not a punishment for something wrong you may have done or revenge from God. This is simply unfortunate.
    4. Also, be aware that this experience doesn’t have to define the rest of your lives (although it will forever change you). In time, you can still have kids if you want to, and strenghten the bond between the two of you.
    5. Last, but not least, in what seems like an eternity now (but is really not that far away, in the grand scheme of things), just know that you’ll be able to remember sweet Afton and talk about him naturally, without crying, without being desperate. You will always love him and cherish him, but this raw pain will go away. The first time I heard this, I was griefing and it sounded crazy, but it felt like a good future to look forward to. And it happened.
    (Sorry for any mistakes, English is not my mother language. I’m here if you ever want to talk.)

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Ms. Gabriela, your words are power and thank you for the wisdom. Thank you, I commit this family to God, may they be comforted with your words and love of God during this difficult period. It shall come to pass.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Dear Bjork and Lindsay, what a beautiful post. So much pain and grief. Yet so much strength and love for sweet baby Afton and each other. A love that will never go away. ❤️ I’m so, so sorry for your loss.

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    As others have commented even though we are complete strangers you all have been in my thoughts every day since I read the news about sweet Afton. Sending you lots of love, prayers and positive energy to help you through this excruciating time.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    reading your story reminds me that part of me being a midwife is to allow parents to birth and grief in their own way as much as possible; my thoughts and prayers to you both as you make your way…..

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    My dear Lindsay,
    Like so many of your readers my heart is overflowing with sympathy for you and for Bjork since the New Year. And also with admiration. You are wonderful parents. I hope that all the love, prayers and positive energy that your readers are sending you at this time will help you both just a little bit.

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    My heart is torn in two and I am in awe of your strength in what is likely the most difficult time you will ever face. I cannot pretend to know the pain you feel and I’m sending you all the love I can spare. Be patient and kind with yourselves for as long as it takes.

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    You don’t know me, and I don’t “know” you, but I feel like through your blog and your recipes I know you, and somehow you know me. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, and holding you both in prayer. I also appreciate your honesty shared here.