Grief as the Kids Go Back to School

There’s something I’ve been carrying in my heart for a few days and I need to say it now, because tomorrow is the first day of school and I need to greet it with a smile, be excited with my children, make them a special breakfast, and send them out the door with prayers and hugs.

Kalkidan should be here.

More than anything, she wanted to be a teenager and go to high school, where she planned to excel as an athlete despite her tiny size.

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I’m deeply sad that tomorrow will not be her first day of high school – that she won’t walk through the doors with her sisters and friends, a bundle of nerves and excitement swirling in her stomach.

Claire will walk through the doors as a freshman without her – my twins, who weren’t twins, but shared the same grade and even the same best friend.

Kalkidan would have worn something bright and colorful, I’m sure, and possibly forgotten one detail that would have led to a flurry of activity just moments before rushing out the door.

We would have gathered in a circle, praying over the kids, and the moment we said, “Amen,” she would have burst from our arms and raced out the door, yelling, “Bye Mom, Bye Dad,” as she ran across the grass.

I can see her now.

I know that high school pales in comparison with heaven – many folks would compare it a little more to heaven’s alternative, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling deep grief that tomorrow was taken from us.

I’m wearing her Ethiopian cross necklace and keeping her close to my heart – it’s all I can do – and asking Jesus to be near.

Lisa

Mom, Dad, Kalkidan

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRIĀ® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

15 Comments

  1. Rachel
    August 29, 2016

    Lisa, I am so sorry for your pain.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2016

      Thank you, Rachel.

      Reply
  2. Kelly
    August 30, 2016

    So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

    Matthew 5:4 ESV

    I am so sorry for your loss. My father in law just died, I have to remind myself and my kids that if we love the Lord and listen to him that we can go to “Jesus’ party” in heaven and it never ends!

    No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him

    So often I want to cry because I miss him and just want to hear him again, come drop off our kids donuts and call my kids by the special nicknames he has given them. I will hear him again, I just have to wait!

    The Lord is awesome, I don’t understand why he does what he does sometimes but when I get to heaven, if I’m still wondering, I’ll have to ask him then!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2016

      Kelly, the day will come when there will be no more sorrow. Kalkidan already knows that – I wish I could just feel it a little bit more. THanks for your sweet words.

      Reply
  3. Lisa
    August 30, 2016

    Lisa – I’m so sorry that each day brings a new realization of sadness. Praying for God to sustain you as you grieve.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2016

      Thank you, Lisa. I’m so thankful for your prayers.

      Reply
  4. Tricia Wilson
    August 30, 2016

    Hugs.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2016

      Thank you, Tricia.

      Reply
  5. Amy
    August 30, 2016

    Jesus be very present with this Mama in her grief. Send ministering angels to her.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2016

      Thank you for your prayers, Amy.

      Reply
  6. Sammie
    August 30, 2016

    What a beautiful memory of Kalkidan. Your blog has been a gift as I have struggled with my own two adopted kids. Your love and concern for Kalkidan has always come through. Thank you now for continuing to share about her. Grief is real and a not often talked about thing in our culture The love for someone who has died continues and as does the heartache of their loss.. Sending a hug to you and your family

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2016

      Thank you, Sammie. It means so much to know that my blog helps you as you parent your children.

      Reply
  7. amy
    August 30, 2016

    It doesn’t seem fair. And I want to be here in that space with you – the space that says we aren’t to Heaven yet and on this pilgrim’s path, it isn’t fair and it sucks. I’m here waving in grief, and waiting for more hope and peace and joy which I know is on the other side.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 31, 2016

      Thank you for understanding, Amy, for being in this space with me.

      Reply
  8. Sophie
    September 4, 2016

    Lisa,
    I hope my words do not come as if to minimize your pain.
    It is certainly not my intention.
    Kalkidan IS in High School.
    She is in the Highest School there is.
    Blessings to you.

    Reply

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