Last weekend we were in Oregon for the wedding of some special friends. As we packed, Russ asked me which tie he should take, and I immediately told him he should wear Kalkidan’s tie. Russ and our boys wore orange ties at Kalkidan’s memorial service in honor of her favorite color and vibrant spirit. She was so excited about Ben and Emily’s wedding; it seemed right to wear her color.
After the ceremony, the sadness of Kalkidan missing this very special day pressed on me. I asked Claire if she would take the picture at the top of this post so I could share it with Emily later. Ben and Emily loved Kalkidan and even gave a gift to the Kalkidan Memorial REACH Fund in celebration of their wedding.
We took the picture and then I wrapped my arms around Claire, both of us sniffing back tears. I patted her back saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” She leaned away from me, looked in my eyes and said, “No Mom, it’s not. It’s not okay.” Her words were so pure and honest that I had to laugh a little. I said, “You’re right, it’s not okay, not at all, but we’re okay.” Then I squeezed her tight.
We are learning to grieve well. There is no need to be dishonest and pretend we are happy. Truthfully, most days I still can’t believe the accident happened and Kalkidan is gone – how can it be? I bear marks on my body that remind me, and I can’t escape the memories of burying her near our tall blue spruce. It’s all true, but it seems impossible.
We cast ourselves entirely on the love of God. He knew every detail of Kalkidan’s life before it ever began. He created her and loved her through tremendous suffering. He chose us, of all the families in the world, to call her our own. He chose us to fight for her and love her.
Today God chooses us to grieve for her, miss her, cry for her. Our sorrow is a fragile gift from His hand. One day when we are with the Lord, we will see clearly and understand. Until then we trust him.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
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