Pair of Shoes Poem
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.
I came across this poem today on a new ministry and blog I came across: Anchored by Hope. I think it describes the way women who have suffered from loss of a child often feel (I certainly have felt this way and sometimes still do), and I personally have always loved the walking in someone else’s shoes metaphor – even taught lessons on it when I taught 8th grade language arts. But back to the poem, I wouldn’t say that I consider my shoes as ugly or describe it as hate. But there have been moments I have felt that way. In a sense the progression of the shoe’s description in the poem mirrors the progression of my journey through grief. It starts off in that ugly place. Then after awhile, you learn your situation is not unique – you may feel that it is, but it really is not. I personally have been learning that a lot lately. It’s amazing and sad at the time how many women have suffered from infant loss like myself and how many more have suffered ‘worse’ losses than myself with multiple losses and miscarriages and so on. And everyone’s walk in the shoes is different as the poem states. I have seen others who have lost a child remain in a very dark place full of pain day in and out. I have seen others, and like to classify myself in this group, who can look past the hurt, become stronger, braver, etc. But the fact remains, and it’s a fact I find hard to deal with sometimes, once you’ve lost a child you will forever walk in those shoes. Nothing will ever change that about you…