Loss Upon Loss – Our Brother, Nick

This is Isaiah. My mom will post something next week; she just can’t yet.

I don’t really know how to write this. It seems impossible that we could be going through this again. I found out last night that my oldest brother Nick died earlier this week.

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My mom had Nick when she was a teenager. Her social worker coerced her to give him up and he was adopted by a family on the East Coast through a closed adoption. They were reunited just over twenty years ago on June 13, 1995, shortly after I was born. She wrote about some of that experience in her Tell it Well series.

When Samuel called last night, I knew something was wrong. He said he had something important he needed to tell me. I was at a restaurant with a coworker in St. Louis, and as I walked outside a knot grew in my throat. We lost Kalkidan six months ago today; I kept thinking, please don’t let it be another death.

I feel lost and confused right now. Nick’s funeral was held this morning. By the time we heard the news, there were no flights out of STL and the drive is fourteen hours long. I woke up this morning at the same time the service started, far away from him and far away from home.

I haven’t seen Nick in a long while and the last time we spoke was when Kalkidan died. For the last few years, I’ve felt a need to reconnect with him. I had planned to go see him this summer when I travel to Baltimore for work. My mom was planning to visit him in the next two months. Now it’s too late.

I lost two siblings in six months. I didn’t get to say goodbye to either of them.

Tell your fam you love them. For me.

— Isaiah

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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.

68 Comments

  1. gmburrahobbit
    June 27, 2015

    Praying for you all, Isaiah. Thanks for writing for your mom and give her a hug from me.

    Reply
  2. Julie Sanders
    June 27, 2015

    Oh no! No! Oh, Lisa! I am so very sorry…. You will be in our prayers.

    Reply
  3. Sheryl
    June 27, 2015

    oh my …..heart felt prayers for your family from across the sea. We are so sorry for the deep deep pain that you must be drowning in right now. May your Saviour provide you with breath

    Reply
  4. charity
    June 27, 2015

    oh Isaiah, thank you for sharing with us, we love your folks, your family, and our God. Sending up our prayers…there never is enough time in this life. all will be well. just breathe. love to you all

    Reply
  5. Deborah
    June 27, 2015

    So sorry for your loss Isaiah and Lisa and family….. my heart just breaks for you. Prayers up

    Reply
  6. Rebecca
    June 27, 2015

    My heart aches for your family. You are all in our prayers.

    Reply
  7. Teresa
    June 27, 2015

    At a loss for words – praying for your family.

    Reply
  8. jentompkins
    June 27, 2015

    There are just no words, just crying out to Jesus on your behalf. <3

    Reply
  9. Emily B
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Isaiah!!! Tears flowing again for your family. So much loss and pain, and could it have come on a worse day? Hugs and fervent prayers are coming on behalf of your whole family. Give your mom an extra squeeze. And I will be calling each of my family members today to tell them I love them.

    Reply
  10. Kristine Barr
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Isaiah and family–how awful! Keeping you all in my prayers.

    Reply
  11. Caryn
    June 27, 2015

    I am so deeply sorry. Praying for all of you.

    Reply
  12. sara
    June 27, 2015

    a thousand prayers…

    Reply
  13. Susan Ringoen
    June 27, 2015

    Weeping with all of you, it is just too hard to have to walk in this valley again so soon! Much love to all of you!

    Reply
  14. Cindy McMurry
    June 27, 2015

    There are no words. Only groans to our Almighty God. Love and prayers, Cindy Mc

    Reply
  15. ericjburnett
    June 27, 2015

    Isaiah, Thank you for sharing this sad news. You and your family are in my prayers.

    Reply
  16. Jack Bradley
    June 27, 2015

    I am so sorry, Isaiah. Please know that you all will continue to be much in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  17. Robin Amos
    June 27, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss, Isaiah…for all of you, especially Lisa. I will continue praying you to be upheld and comforted.

    Reply
  18. Amy Biemeck
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Isaiah . . . our hearts are with you and your whole family. You don't walk alone, or grieve alone or cry alone. Asking Jesus for grace and peace for your wounded hearts . . .

    Reply
  19. Becky
    June 27, 2015

    oh my God- how is this possible?! I'm so so so sorry. May God bring you some measure of peace and comfort tonight.

    Reply
  20. Dolisa Winkelman
    June 27, 2015

    I am so sorry for you and your family. My love and prayers.

    Reply
  21. Joelle
    June 27, 2015

    Thank you Isaiah for your post. I am grieving with you. What a heart wrenching loss. Words are just not adequate so I hope my care comes thru the prayers I am lifting up.

    Reply
  22. @LisaJoyThompson
    June 27, 2015

    My heart is breaking for your family! Please know that I am praying for you!

    Reply
  23. adventisthomemaker
    June 27, 2015

    Tears and hugs for you all. 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Reply
  24. Lauren McMurray
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Isaiah, I'm so sorry. We love all of you Qualls. Praying for God's deep comfort to pour over you continually.

    Reply
  25. KRM
    June 27, 2015

    My heart is broken for you and I have no words. Praying that you and your family will feel God's love and comfort in a mighty way.

    Reply
  26. Jeri
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Qualls family. There are just no words. May God wrap his arms tightly around you all.

    Reply
  27. Sarah
    June 27, 2015

    Thinking if your family and praying for you.

    Reply
  28. Carla Fortner
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Isaiah , my human heart just breaks for all of you! No family should have to go through this ! My god heart knows that he'll carry all of you through this .. Again … Giving just what you need when you need it ! So sorry … Prayers for your family .

    Reply
  29. Jan
    June 27, 2015

    As I scroll through FB, it reminds me of how unaware we are of the tragedies that are occurring while life goes on for the rest of us. I don't know you or your family, but please know that my heart is breaking for all of you and will pray for strength for each day in the midst of this unbelievable loss of 2 lives in 6 months. I pray that the Lord will wrap his loving arms around each of you and that, once again, you will find joy in the morning. God bless you and keep you.

    Reply
  30. Jess P.
    June 27, 2015

    Lisa – I think of what you wrote a few weeks ago, about not being inoculated against pain. Was your heart being prepared for this, I wonder…but how can one really prepare? Oh, sweet family, I am sorry you are enduring so much loss. I pray for you regularly. God is with you in all of this – you know this, even as your soul cries out. Thank you for sharing your lives so publicly. May you be carried by our prayers, and may we grow in strength by your witness of a life lived in Christ, through Christ, and for Christ.

    Reply
  31. Elizabeth
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Isaiah, so sorry for you having to write such words. Thank you for letting us know, several of us readers pray for and care about your family very very much. It is beyond understanding.

    Reply
  32. Barbara D. Johnson
    June 27, 2015

    Isaiah, I am so terribly sorry for your loss! I know it is so hard to see the purpose in these terribly hard trials that you all have endured these last few months. May God wrap His big arms of love and healing around your entire family. May you have peace amid this emotionally fragile time. God loves you and CARES about your sorrows………cast them on HIM! HE WILL CARRY YOU!!! <3

    Reply
  33. Kathleen Kinman
    June 27, 2015

    I am hurting for you. I have tears rolling down my face. The pain you feel is unbearable. All I can say is that I am uplifting you in prayer

    Reply
  34. Cle & Bob Callihan
    June 27, 2015

    "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted". Matt. 5:4, Praying for God's comforting presence to engulf you and your family
    .

    Reply
  35. Michelle
    June 27, 2015

    I have no words. Only prayers. I'm so very sorry.

    Reply
  36. sciencedino
    June 27, 2015

    Oh this is unbelievable. I am sorry beyond words. Praying God's peace for the hearts of your whole family, and a joyful reunion for all of you in the world to come.

    Reply
  37. DFNY
    June 27, 2015

    I'm so very sorry for your loss, Isaiah. Holding you and your family in prayer at this very difficult time. Tears…

    Damaris

    Reply
  38. Janice Kohl
    June 27, 2015

    Dear Lisa Because of this son, I felt kindred sprits with you esp. a long time ago when we exchanged a few details of what happened in our lives and the different roads we went on. So sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  39. sophie
    June 27, 2015

    Isaiah,
    Thank you.

    Reply
  40. Mavis
    June 27, 2015

    Praying.

    Reply
  41. Pat Askren
    June 27, 2015

    Oh unbelievable sadness. Again.
    I grieve with all those who love you.

    Reply
  42. blessed
    June 27, 2015

    oh, Isaiah, I am SO sorry. I am grieving for all of you, but for your mother specifically. I am praying now, and trusting. I guess just trusting in God because nothing else makes any sense at the moment. : ( Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  43. Laura Draper
    June 27, 2015

    So sorry for this heartbreak. My prayers for your family continue.

    Reply
  44. Cristi
    June 27, 2015

    Isaiah I am so very sorry for your and your families loss of another sibling. My heart aches for all of you. I have never understood why it seems that some families seem to suffer more loss than others. My own sister has had two of her young children called home by our Lord. Faith has seen them through. Lisa I am so sorry for your loss! I am praying for all of your family. May the good Lord surround you with family and kind, loving friends. May he support each one of you through your grief and remind you of His everlasting love, and provide comfort to you.

    Reply
  45. Tabithah Schwandt
    June 27, 2015

    Oh Lisa! Praying for you and your dear family!

    Reply
  46. Chrissie Creason
    June 27, 2015

    So sorry to hear this news! I will be praying for y'all.

    Reply
  47. Deborah Beauchamp
    June 27, 2015

    Oh no! I just saw this. I am so very sorry for your loss! Praying for you. Thank you for sharing this, Isaiah.

    Reply
  48. Laurel
    June 28, 2015

    Tears are falling for you all.

    I. Cannot. Even. Imagine.

    I will be lifting you all up to Our Father in Heaven over the next days and weeks.

    Reply
  49. Kathrin
    June 28, 2015

    My heart is breaking for all of you. Prägung. You will get through.
    Love to all.
    Kathrin

    Reply
  50. Sherry Semlow
    June 28, 2015

    Lisa, Isaiah, and family – I am so incredibly sorry. I cannot imagine the depth of your pain. I am praying for God to make His presence and love known to your family! I am so deeply saddened for you.

    Reply
  51. Zan-mei
    June 28, 2015

    I am so sorry. Last year I lost two members of my immediate family within seven months, including a brother that I never said goodbye to, because he took his life. It’s devastating when God doesn’t intervene in the lives of our loved ones according to our prayers, and sometimes there aren’t any answers.
    Psalm 71:20~21 “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”
    I don't know you or your family, but I am praying for God’s comfort and restoration for all of you.

    Reply
  52. Robin Douglas
    June 28, 2015

    Isaiah, I am so sorry. I am praying for your family.

    Reply
  53. thandilocks
    June 28, 2015

    I can't think of a single thing that will take the sting away. No words the first time, and none this time. While I'm glad they got to reunite, I'm so sad this happened. Prayers for healing..as if we weren't already praying for you all after Kalkidan. Love from South Africa

    Reply
  54. Josiah Talbert-Truax
    June 28, 2015

    Praying for all of you in the Qualls family. I had some of the best Easters I can remember at your family's home. You are a huge blessing to your community and church. I pray that you would all know the peace and comfort of God in this time. :-/

    Reply
  55. Julie
    June 28, 2015

    Isaiah, If you're still in St. Louis, and you would like a family to love on you, call me. I will come get you and we'll take care of you the best we can. Julie (314) 922-7420.

    Reply
  56. Pam H.
    June 28, 2015

    God? Hold each one of the Qualls family close. We don't understand this at all, but we know You have a plan for each one of us. You knew our days before we were born, each individual moment, and you have not left us to bear grief alone – so give the Qualls family the peace that passes all understanding – the peace that belongs to You. Walk with them as each new day begins and give rest to each at the end of the day. Help us readers to lift them up before You and those close to them to give strength to move forward when it is humanly impossible to do.

    Isaiah – thank you for sharing with me (us) some of us strangers, some are close dear friends of yours, but thank you for letting this stranger in on a very, very personal painful time. I don't know how, but I do know that God will bring your family through these very tough times you are in. My heart cries for your family.

    Reply
  57. Mary Ostyn
    June 28, 2015

    I'm so sorry. My heart breaks with yours. Praying

    Reply
  58. jen
    June 28, 2015

    I am so, so sorry. Praying for you, Isaiah, and for your whole family. May the God of peace and comfort feel very near!

    Reply
  59. Andrea Hill
    June 28, 2015

    Oh Isaiah, my heart is breaking for your whole family. I am so so very sorry. How much more can one endure. I will be praying for you.

    Reply
  60. cathylank
    June 28, 2015

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. Praying for all of you.

    Reply
  61. prayingintruth
    June 29, 2015

    Oh dear God….I am so incredibly sorry….I literally have no words…wrapping you in love…..

    Reply
  62. Sharon
    June 29, 2015

    Praying for your entire family. So, so sorry.

    Reply
  63. Michelle
    June 29, 2015

    Oh Isaiah. No words. Thankful you shared. Praying.

    Reply
  64. Brenda Ahmann
    June 29, 2015

    Oh Isaiah, thank you for sharing your heart at the loss of your brother. I am so so sorry for you and all of your family. We will pray for all of you for God to carry you and breathe new hope and peace into your hearts. Brenda and Greg Ahmann

    Reply
  65. Melissa Joy
    June 29, 2015

    Oh! I am speechless with my tears for your family's increased and renewed grief. May the Lord hear the unnutterable groans of our hearts on your behalf as we hold you in the palms of our hands before His throne!

    Reply
  66. Sammie Fick
    June 29, 2015

    Isaiah, thank you for sharing this very sad news. Your family has so much love and has shared so much. Please know how much all your Mom has shared with us has helped so many of us. Know that we are all sending you our love and support, and that the love you all have for each other will help you to get through this loss. I am so sorry its coming so close to your loss of Kalkidan. Take a deep breath and know that you will get through this.

    Reply
  67. Pamela
    July 1, 2015

    I'm so very, very sorry. I wish there was something I could do to ease the pain your family is experiencing right now.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 1, 2015

      Thank you, Pamela.

      Reply

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