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. Our eyes may fill with tears when you talk to us, but it will be out of gratitude to you as well as sadness over losing Kalkidan. If you cry or get choked up – that’s okay too – it only means that you care deeply about Kalkidan and our family.
In your cards, emails, phone calls, and conversations with us, not one of you has said the wrong thing – not one. The very fact that you sent that card or email, or made the phone call, or stopped to hug us, means more than you can know.
We worry about saying something that will make a grieving person sad or uncomfortable, don’t we? I’ve failed miserably at this myself. In the past I’ve been so concerned about saying the wrong thing, that I’ve said nothing at all. Now, living through this loss, I assure you that silence is not more comforting.
I had a medical appointment last week with a doctor I hadn’t seen since September. We live in a small enough town that I was 95% certain the clinic had heard of our accident. The nurse walked in the room, and said, “A lot has happened since I last saw you.” It was perfect. She gave me an open door to talk as much or little as I wanted in that moment and I was very thankful.
A simple, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” or “I pray for you often,” or “We miss Kalkidan’s smile,” reminds us that we are not alone. You haven’t forgotten our sweet girl – and you haven’t forgotten us.
When you share our sorrow, even for a moment, we are strengthened and encouraged.
Don’t worry that you’ll make us sad, or that you’ll say the wrong thing. Meet our eyes, hug us, tell us you are with us. We will be glad you did.