I came across this poem awhile back and I really liked it ~ something in this poem resonated with what I was and am feeling. It really puts perspective to the saying about "walking a mile in another person's shoes" because as this poem shows, once you put these shoes on, you can never take them off ~ you are forever changed and nothing, as you know it, will be the same. Your life has changed, your perspective has changed. All of a sudden the milestones you looked forward to are ones you dread, what should be happy anniversaries/birthdays become a sad reminder of what might have been....what could have been.
People who say things like "it will get easier" are lying. It NEVER gets easier and it never will. I think what happens is that you are able to "cope" ~ I read once about how losing a child was compared to losing a leg. At first you are unable to walk, but slowly you learn how to stand, how to move and limp along ~ eventually some women are able to not only walk again but run....but guess what? These women are still missing a leg and they are accutely aware of that ~ they never "forget" that that missing appendage is no longer there.
I thought the analogy was very fitting. At first how does one even survive this loss? This shattering of your soul? You feel betrayed to the very core and abandoned by everyone, including God ~ perhaps that is the biggest betrayal of all..."GOD HOW COULD YOU?" You scream and yell ~ "WHERE WERE YOU? On vacation? Did you blink? Sneeze? Forget about me? What then?? WHERE WERE YOU?" After somehow survivng the darkest hours you are able to start functioning again, and if you are like me, it was definitely a automated robotic functioning (wake up, feed children, pack husband's lunch, pack oldest son's lunch, dress children, drop oldest son off at school.....you get the picture) ~ you go through the motions, are able to fool people with the answer of "fine" when people ask "how are you doing" (which in my opinion, anyone who asks that of a grieving mother deserves to be drop-kicked....and that is putting it nicely.....because face it, we ALL know NO ONE wants to hear how you are *really* doing....it is just *social politeness* talking...can't you just picture their face if you were to really unload on them about how you were really doing? I think only another angel mama would understand. One thing that helped me was to remember that no one was *deliberately* trying to cause me more pain ~ and like one of my cousins told me, "I haven't talked to you because I don't know what to say." I think that sums it up pretty good ~ people don't know what to say and I don't think they realize that sometimes all a mom needs is just for someone to "be there" for her ~ no words needed, just a pair of embracing arms to hold her). After awhile longer we are able to smile again to "limp" along, to start seeing a break in the clouds. And one day we all must decide one thing, "Am I going to be *bitter* or *better*?" ~ which will be a discussion for a later time.
So for now I leave with this poem:
A Pair of Shoes
I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.