It’s been eight weeks since the day Kalkidan left our arms and entered heaven. Maybe I should just say that it’s been eight weeks since she died, but it hurts my heart to write those words. As I grow physically stronger and begin to reenter the world, I want to share something with you about our grief.
Don’t be afraid to talk to us about Kalkidan and our loss. Please don’t worry that you’ll make us sad or that we’ll cry. We already are sad and we’re thankful for moments to acknowledge it.
In the days following the accident, a wise psychologist and friend came to our home to meet with with our family. He talked about grief and what we all might feel and experience. Then he said something that I’ve thought of many times since that day.
He said we would experience “the profound presence of absence.”
Kalkidan turned 13 last October. This was a much anticipated birthday, so much so that she began talking about the day she turned twelve. She couldn’t wait to be a teenager and loved to remind me that it wouldn’t be long before she could take driver’s ed.
In recent years we’ve encouraged our kids to ask for experiences rather than “things” for gifts. As we talked about what she wanted for her birthday, Kalkidan realized there really wasn’t much she needed to own. Keeping her room organized and somewhat tidy was a challenge, and adding more “stuff” wasn’t going to make it any easier.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman has become part of our slow journey through grief.
Evenings are hard. Once dinner is cleaned up and the boys head to bed, the house becomes quiet; it’s unsettling. Kalkidan was a bundle of energy, often talking, singing, and recruiting us to play games right up until bedtime. The strange calm in our home feels heavy.
Our pastor and friend, Aaron Couch, shared this post on his blog in the days following the memorial service.
This last week, I did the unthinkable. I helped some of my dear friends lay one of their own children to rest. Even now, 10 days after the tragic car accident I find myself teared up over the reality of what the last week and a half has exposed about life and its frailty.
I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
I still am not ready.
And yet, here I sit having to let go at some level of a relationship that was severed too soon.
My dear friends are great people. They love the Lord. They have 11 children – 7 biological and 4 adopted. And they have chosen through adoption to love kids from tough places. And love they did. And tough it was… and is.