For my 45th year

April 29

I turned 45.
Five more years until I'm 50.
I'm now officially too old for the Korean adoption program. Thank goodness Little Brother made it home in time.
It was a nice day.
It was a normal day.

April 30

My mom calls.
My sister has died.
The world grinds to a halt.
The first day of my 45th year begins with a loss so cutting that I can't breathe.

I can't really write about this now. It's all still too painful. When I think of my sister's death, I feel like I'm underwater in a murky tank, unable to figure out which way is up or down. She was 42. How is this possible?

Our past few weeks have been a swirl of family. Grief. Love.

We flew to the west coast where all of my family resides. The boys have been very moody. Little Brother is clingy and cries all the time. Perhaps they have tuned into my grief?

Little Brother has been home almost 8 weeks. The flight was a rehash of that awful trip home from Korea. Thank goodness it was only 3 hours long.

Home. Good to be together with my parents and baby sister. The days were long as we waited for test results. We wanted answers. We had long conversations that ended with silence and tears. We held hands.

We made plans to celebrate her life. Hard to celebrate a life ended too soon. We did it for her kids. And it was sort of healing for us too, I guess. It gave me something to focus on.

Back home now. Little Brother ecstatic to return. I think he thought we had left all this behind. That each plane trip means another loss. My heart breaks for him.

I forget for a minute or two. I get busy scrubbing the bathroom and then remember she's not here anymore. I can't wrap my head around this.

In the dark hours after the kids are asleep, I lie awake.

Where has time gone?

Did she know I loved her?

I miss her.


  1. Oh K - my heart is breaking for you. I saw pictures on FB but didn't realize it was your sister. Your world right now is swirling in grief. I am so incredibly sorry for the sister you lost, the pain your son is going through, and that right now I can't just bring over food and listen to stories about your sister. But when we get together, soon, please tell me about her. This loss, the timing, may it help you understand Little Bro even more and help your connect with him. Hugs to you and your family. I know they all know how much you do indeed love them.

    1. Thank you, Yvonne. You are right about this loss helping me understand Little Brother's grief. Thanks so much for the long-distance hugs. Can feel them!

  2. My dear,

    I am so incredibly sorry and sad on losing your sister. This must be so hard for you. So sorry for your little guys to not have their aunt around in their future.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    1. Jessica, yes, sad that the boys will not know their aunt in person. But she's left us many stories to share with them!

  3. Not that words help a whole lot in these situations, and you don't even know who I am. I am just a mom, who is working on a Korean adoption and reads your blog. My heart hurt so much for you when I read this, that I just had to post and express my sympathy. I am terribly sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through at this time. I pray that you and your family will find peace and strength in the midst of this turmoil.

    1. Hi Jennie. Thanks for taking the time to write. It really does help to hear from people and amazes me to think that someone who I've never met would send thoughts and prayers to our family. I would love to learn more about where you are in the adoption process!

  4. Pix,

    My heart sank when I read about the loss of your sister. I am so sorry and have been thinking of you and keeping you all in my prayers. I hope you are able to hold tight to the fun, happy memories of your sister.

    Although we have never met in person, I have learned so much about you in the words you type. Above all, I have learned you love fiercely. I can only imagine your sister felt that love.

    I will be keeping you all in my thoughts as you navigate through all of this. My heart goes out to you.

    In friendship,

    1. Kristin, your words about loving fiercely surprised me. Never saw myself that way. But you are right. I did love her deeply. We do have a lot of funny memories of her. She was a funny person and part of who I am today is a reflection of growing up with her. Thanks so much for taking the time to write!


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