It’s Not Okay

kalkidan tie

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

 Lisa

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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 TBRI® 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.

8 Comments

  1. Jaimee Wheat
    July 14, 2015

    Grief is such a difficult emotion. When my mother passed away from pancreatic cancer I was still trying to wrap my head and heart around terminal. My mother only lived for a month after her diagnosis and then she was gone. Everyone was sending my step father sympathy cards and books on grief, and I felt angry, which of course I buried that feeling because of the guilt I felt for feeling angry about such a stupid thing at least I felt it was stupid at the time. They had been married for 15 years she had been my mother for 40. I squashed so many feelings for 3 years and then one day it all came out it a massive meltdowm, my spirit could know longer hold all the stuffed emotions. I cried all day three years of tears and anger about so many things. Why my mother who had lived such a clean life she was not a smoker or drinker. She took good care of herself so why her. I asked God why did you take my mother my best friend ? I was angry at G because my mother had dreamed of the day when she also would be reunited with her granddaughter now she would never see her again here on Earth. I wish I knew how to grieve but I found that there is not a set way to grieve, everyone grieves in their own way but holding in the grief of my loss was not healthy, but I only learned that by going through it. I will never stop grieving for the loss of my mother until we are together again in Heaven, but now that grief doesn't hinder me from the life I am living.

    Reply
  2. Kayla
    July 14, 2015

    That is exactly the right sentiment for grief: it is not okay but we are okay.

    Reply
  3. Jen Tompkins
    July 14, 2015

    You are gracious and true, even in your grief. I'm amazed by how well you are suffering. It is not okay, but we are. I think you are giving such freedom to those who carry similar heavy weights and need to know that it doesn't have to be "okay." Big hugs and prayers to you, Lisa

    Reply
  4. lucylou99
    July 14, 2015

    Your words and faith continue to touch our hearts. That you for sharing your story with us. Through your words we continue to be shaped. Love and prayers as you continue to heal, Cindy Mc

    Reply
  5. Erika
    July 14, 2015

    Praying for your family

    God bless

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth
    July 14, 2015

    Wisdom, simple truth coming from your daughter. Grace to you. I look forward to the day everyone is together again by God's side with all the wrongs made right.

    Reply
  7. Siri Whitmore
    July 14, 2015

    Though I do not understand all that this means I share it with you… This morning I read in Psalm 119, " in faithfulness you have afflicted me". We truly see in the mirror dimly now but one day we will understand all let we have experienced here on this earth., and I am certain that we will see God's faithfulness in each tier we cried.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 14, 2015

      Thank you, Siri, and thank you for the beautiful letter. Much love to you.

      Reply

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