Heart Connections: On the Yellow School Bus

by Kathy McCleskey


This holiday season marks another milestone in our grief journey. Like the journey itself, this milestone is an unexpected one.

Bob and I often characterize this journey as having a yellow school bus come to our door and forcing us to get on the bus. We DO NOT want to get on, but WE HAVE to. Our child is gone.  We have had to deal, cope, and finally resign ourselves to the journey. Over the last 18 years we have dealt with the grief in many ways. We have coped as best we could through the good, the bad, the missing, the wondering, and the eternal asking WHY.

We are approaching a milestone where our daughter, Shannon, will have been gone from us longer than she was with us. That seems impossible.

What seemed more impossible over 18 years ago was that we would survive the loss. In the beginning I can say it was touch and go. There were days neither of us thought we would survive and some days we wished we would not.

Then we found the Christi Center. Through our grief journey with our friends at the Christ Center, we learned we could deal and cope. The resignation turned to acceptance and the ability to look forward to a future was restored. We were not alone on the yellow school bus.

Sadly when we got on the yellow school bus, there were many passengers already there and many that would join us. By supporting the Christi Center through volunteering our skills and talents and donations, we hope we have helped others who are on the bus.

As you approach this holiday season, please consider what you can give so those passengers on the bus can learn to deal, cope, and to look forward. We believe no one should have to grieve alone and the Christi Center ensures no one has to.

About the Author

Kathleen (Kathy) McCleskey is  is a mom, grandmother of 2, and consultant and trainer for federal agencies and non-profit organizations. She began coming to The Christi Center in 1998 after the death of her daughter Shannon, began volunteering along with her husband Bob McCleskey in 1999, and has been serving as board president since 2014.

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