Below is my first journal entry after the death of Anna. I wrote it during our flight back to America. In it I describe some of the situation on the day Anna died. THERE ARE SOME GRAPHIC NOTES ABOUT HER INJURIES. Parents may want to read it first before letting their young children read.
It is May 11. Sunday. I am somewhere over the date line right now so it might actually be May 10. If I could fly on through three more date lines it would be May 7 and I would be back to the day that my daughter died.
At the time, we did not know what had happened to her, but apparently she died while on a bike ride with her mother. It was the early afternoon on a beautiful clear blue Salatiga day. The ricefields on days like that are a brilliant combination of bright green and soft yellow of the ripening grain. It was the kind of day that causes me to catch my breath from the beauty. The kind of day that would make Anna say that her heart was full.
Anna was not a daredevil by any means, but on her bicycle she would not brake on hills. She wanted to make sure she could make it up the other side. This day was no different. As she rode through the narrow paved path through the ricefield, awestruck by the beauty of God’s creation, she began to gain speed on the gentle grade. She felt the increasing wind blowing throught her golden hair. Her sense of excitement grew as she gained speed. The path wound slowly down to the left. As it continued down, the path turned to the right and opened up on a little clearing before a ravine. The path turned to the right and crossed a concrete bridge leading to the village on the other side.
For some reason Anna did not make the right turn onto the bridge. Perhaps she was frightened by the speed. Perhaps she was simply not paying attention from her rapt attention of her beautiful surroundings. But for whatever reason, instead of crossing the bridge safely to the other side, she continued straight ahead. She flew from the edge of the ravine and fell eighteen to twenty feet to the rocks below. Her bicycle was found lodged in a palm shrub. Her lifeless body was in the stream running through the ravine.
According to the autopsy she did not survive the impact. While the left side of her body was relatively unharmed, her right side was severely injured. Her arm was broken, as was her jaw. The back side of her head suffered a trauma that, according to the doctor, would have killed her instantly. Although she was found in the water there was no water in her lungs and only a little bit in her esophagus. She was no longer breathing when she reached the water. And with that Anna passed from this world and into the presence of her Lord.
So ended my first attempt to put words onto paper about what happened that day six months ago. Looking back on those times, I can still recall vividly the details of some events. Other aspects are lost in a haze. I realize now that we were running on adrenaline during the first few weeks after her death. The adrenaline seems to wear off completely after about three months at which point it feels like the bottom drops out. In the days to come I will try to share more, not only about Anna’s life as I have been writing, but also about our grief experiences after Anna’s death. Perhaps it might be helpful for others. Perhaps it might only be helpful for me.