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9 Comments So Far

  1. I lost my twin daughters as infants 7 years ago. It’s ok to be fundamentally broken as a permanent state of being and know that time does not heal all wounds. I am broken and wounded; but I have also found life again. Those things are not incompatible. You will always be a mom to a daughter. But you will also be many other things. BD Wortham-Galvin

  2. I just read The Last Crane. I am so, so sorry for your loss. That in itself seems so inadequate to even say. Your article about her touched me so much. I just had to write something to you.

  3. I am a friend of Jacinta’s and part of the ladies arm wrestling family. I found out about Ana only yesterday and have been reading your beautiful blog (and Washington Post article) ever since. I am in awe of your bravery and eloquence in the face of the hardest challenge a human can face. As a mother of a 12yo, I am gutted for you. I want you to know that your family’s story and Ana herself have helped me, if temporarily, go to a much higher perspective and let go of the trivial concerns of daily life, those thoughts that keep me living fearfully in the future or past. I had that experience immediately following a significant loss, and was sad to lose touch with it. I hugged my daughter and told her about Ana last night. I will continue to the best of my ability to honor your daughter’s life by honoring my own and my loved ones. Wishing you peace and healing. Jennifer Tidwell

  4. My husband send me your story . I’m so very sorry about your sweet daughter and what your family went through. I too am a grieving mom . My youngest son Tyler died at age 11 after battling leukemia three times and a bone marrow transplant. Easter was my last holiday with him then he died two days before Mother’s Day. I have a very hard time with my emotions this time of year. I know your about to go through all of your first holidays without your sweet girl. I chose to day my first year different for each holiday to get through . Like got a different tree had thanksgiving at my moms . I also got a candle with my sons face on it and I had written on it Every time I I breathe I grieve . I light that candle for every holiday before we eat . God bless you and your family I’m so sorry you have to feel this pain . It’s hard to even tell people how your feeling. Biggest hugs !!

  5. Dear Jacqueline,
    Thank you for the beautiful vulnerability to share your story. I cried through your piece of course! And I love to cry – it was for your heart and my own. My daughter Dove died at 8 of a rare genetic disorder. Since then I have held sacred all the tears I have shed and other that other mothers have shed- they are the wet deep expressions of our love. They water me if I am ever parched or even when I am not. If you ever want to share another journey I can send you my essay “It’s All a Form of Grace.” And you can find it in a book I published “Fearless Nest” essays by mothers on our children as our greatest teachers.
    Find a way to express your grief creatively every day for a while. Write to people. Send thank you notes. Write poems. Make art. Let the love around you in. Be sad as long as want! Eventually it all turns to love. Do not be too scared.
    I am holding you in my heart,

  6. We lost Tracy yesterday morning from cancer complications. She was 38 but still way to young to suffer so. I’m sure your loss is as devastating. As you look around at the losses, the grief is atrocious. So sorry for your loss. So sorry that is so not enough to say.

  7. Dear Jacqeuline Dooley,
    Kathleen Kenney, a neighbor of yours in Kingston years ago, is my daughter, and ever since Ana fell ill Kathleen has, over the years, periodically let her mother, Patricia, and me know how Ana was doing. As a result, I feel as though I know Ana in some sense. Kathleen sent me your immensely affecting article from the Post this morning, and I want to express our deepest condolences. I am not a religious person, but I append here a kind of prose poem I came across a while back that I found comforting. I hope it offers you and your husband a degree of solace at this most difficult time.

    Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away to the next room.
    I am I and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other,
    That, we still are.

    Call me by my old familiar name.
    Speak to me in the easy way
    which you always used.
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

    Laugh as we always laughed
    at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word
    that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effect.
    Without the trace of a shadow on it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same that it ever was.
    There is absolute unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind
    because I am out of sight?

    I am but waiting for you.
    For an interval.
    Somewhere. Very near.
    Just around the corner.

    All is well.

    Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

    —Henry Scott Holland (1847–1918), English theologian

  8. Dear Jaccqueline,
    I just read your column in the Washington Post – The Last Crane. I’ve never reached out to another bereaved mother but your story touched my heart. My son died 6 years ago from neuroblastoma. Cranes were his “thing” too and we have been placing crane mobiles in hospitals for years. We have hundreds of thousands of cranes from around the world – his story went viral. I am deeply sorry for the devestating loss your family is facing. It is the darkest, hardest, most devestating time. And it will not end. It may let up and you will learn how to cope but that heart break is inside you forever. I am so sorry you know of it. Along with carrying on David’s crane project, I fundraise for the St. Baldrick’s foundation and that is deeply satisfying because David wanted cures for all kids. Our family also attends a bereavement camp called Camp Sunshine that has been crucial to our healing. I hope you find your way through the swamp – especially in this first year of hell. Keep writing and sharing because cancer happens to kids like ours. Regular families, living regular lives…suddenly derailed. I’m holding your family close and can be found on Facebook “Susan Carpenito Heard” if you want to connect there. Check out the National Crane Project site: and I know Mary Jo Lodge, Lafayette College faculty member and the reason this all came to be would love to connect. Sending peace to your shattered soul. Susan.

  9. Bless all of you, my friends. I am a psychotherapist who works with children and adults. I found your story The Last Crane moving and enlightening. It is such a poignant reminder about how fast our children grow up and how enchanting those little moments of change can be.
    Susan Holliday

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