Turning the Page

FullSizeRender (1)

I was looking through our new family calendar, the one my sisters and I create each year. The top page of each month has a picture of everyone who has a birthday; this month there is a special square for my mom, my brother in law, Isaiah, and one for me.

As I flipped the pages, I came to October, and it hit me that Kalkidan will never have a birthday again. Never again will I choose a new picture of her for her special page. I know I should be getting used to this, but I’m not.

For 2016 we chose a picture of me with the three youngest kids dressed in orange on Kalkidan’s birthday. We haven’t forgotten her, but it’s not the same.

It’s hard for me to acknowledge that one day, the pictures we have of her will appear dated and obviously old. Right now, her picture is on the wall with all the others, and, if I wanted to, I could pretend it was taken last month. If a stranger came to my home, they would not realize she was gone.

One day that won’t be the case.

She was in my dream last night. That hasn’t happened many times since the accident. Nothing unusual happened in the dream; we were in a restaurant. I don’t really remember much, but she was there, and when I woke up, I could still hear her voice.

There were people who told me that the second year would be harder than the first. I didn’t believe them, but I’m beginning to think they are right.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

For anyone walking this road of grief, I’m currently reading A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser. He is putting many of my thoughts into words. I’m considering reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn next.

I’m going to meet a friend for a walk this morning – it’s raining, but I’m from Seattle so it won’t bother me much, besides, it matches how I feel this moment. Have a wonderful day, friends.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

13 Comments

  1. Char Baldwin
    January 27, 2016

    My heart goes out to you and may I suggest that dreams of eating together hint at the communion of the saints and what you can look forward to in heaven. Praying that turning the page will stir anticipation of the reality of incalculable joys forever with Kalkidan. God is as good as his promise that his lovingkindness is better than life.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 27, 2016

      Thank you, Char. You are always such an encouragement to me.

      Reply
  2. Mary
    January 27, 2016

    God bless you Lisa on your path through grief. Your choice to share the journey is brave and kind. God bless your family.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 27, 2016

      Thank you, Mary. I appreciate your encouragement.

      Reply
  3. Sami
    January 27, 2016

    I would say, don't be afraid of this year. It is different but maybe not all of it would be worse. I feel like the dreams of my parents started about a year after they died. They always put me into such a funk. So much like seeing them but not. After a few years they stopped talking to me in my dreams, and that was worse. Now when I dream about them, I wake up and realize that I was frustrated and sad my whole dream because they didn't talk to me. But now there is more of a sweetness about seeing them in my dreams. Little by little the bitter has been replaced with the sweet until now I can think of who they were, our relationship, our memories together with pleasure and pride. It's been 8 years now. Jesus is a healer!! <3 And there is so much peace in knowing that to be true, firsthand.

    The picture thing bothers me too. I've refreshed every picture frame on my walls but the ones with them in it. What else would I put in there? Even if I am thankful to have so many nice pics.

    FWIW from here it looks like you're doing a "good job" grieving–giving yourself a time and space to be sad, but with hope. You're on the right path as far as I can read, it's just a long one. Hugs.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 27, 2016

      Thank you, Sami. I am so glad to hear from someone who is further along the road.

      Reply
  4. Sophie
    January 27, 2016

    You may find interesting how this lady celebrates her son. http://www.babyboybakery.com/about

    Reply
  5. Luann Yarrow Doman
    January 27, 2016

    Thinking of you and praying for peace.

    Reply
  6. Abrianna
    January 27, 2016

    Honestly I don't expect you to "be used to it by now." And the pain is always going to be there but it won't always be close to the surface. As years pass you may find that some years you are not as sad and other years it may be worse. You don't get over this type of loss, you learn to live with it.

    In your case you have a double whammy as not only was it a child but it was a quick and unexpected death. Those things make the process harder.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 28, 2016

      Thank you, Abrianna. I'm learning that sudden, traumatic loss is a difficult kind of grief. Losing someone we love is always painful, but when it is so unexpected, and a young life is cut short, it is definitely more complex. Good to hear from you.

      Reply
  7. Molly Kitsmiller
    January 28, 2016

    When I lost my best friend, I would have dreams of her laughing. I was so thankful even though it made me miss her more, because I hoped those sounds would never die away from my memory. I would often cry following those times. I'm sure it is not the same as losing a child . . . They are bittersweet moments and experiences. Praying for you Lisa!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 28, 2016

      Thank you, Molly.

      Reply
  8. Lisa Qualls
    January 28, 2016

    It feels so sad to me. I'm thankful we have pictures from 5 – 13, and even a few from before we met her.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy