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 the 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 of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the 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.
This one, is one of my favorite poems about being a bereaved parent. Although that sounds odd..saying I have a "favorite" poem regarding bereavement, but it's true, I have several that I like and several that I re-read to myself quite often. I don't really like the fact that I have favorite poems such as this one, which is clearly written by a grieving/bereaved parent..but that's my life now. I have to find some way to feel like I fit in someplace. Sadly, this is where I fit now. And I hate every single second of it.
The 23rd of each month stinks for us. And for some strange reason, our family has lost 4 family members on the 23rd day of the month. Two were Apr 23 and two on July 23..of different years. My aunt passed away last week, on none other than the 23rd of this month. My family all think we should just skip the 23rd of each month. Just erase it off our calendars..if only it were that easy. Carly was of course Apr 23, last year. 5 yrs before, on the exact day that we lost Carly, my cousin, Dawn's son and girlfriend were killed in an automobile accident. July 23, 2009 we lost one of my aunts and this year July 23, we lost another aunt.
Today, I went with my parents (Paul didn't go, he not ready for a funeral) to my aunts funeral. I went to the visitation on Monday night and boy was I nervous about going to that, but I did okay. However, I did not go up to the casket. I sat in the back of the room with my cousin. This is the first funeral home I've gone to since Carly's funeral; 15months ago. But today, well it was a totally different story. I thought I was going to get through it okay. I sat down, while my parents, brother and sister in-law went to see the family. I was alright. Even when the service started I was alright, but...when they played a song, I lost it. The song was, In The Garden, it was one of the 6 songs played at Carly's funeral. OMG, I wasn't sure I would be able to stop crying. I really was NOT expecting to have that kind of reaction. As the service went on, I got settled down and then the pastor said it was time for another song. I sat there thinking..I can get out of here, the door is only a few feet away from where we're setting. I wasn't sure what I would do, had another one of the songs played during Carly's funeral, came over the speakers. I wanted to bolt out the door before it started, but just couldn't make myself move. So, I sat there. Thankfully it was a song that I had never heard before.
There will never be a "right" time to go to a funeral. That stands true for everyone. But, it can not be avoided forever. I suppose I will always have that 'twinge' whenever I step foot in a funeral home. Not that I've ever liked going to a funeral, but it's just different now. I will likely cry over a similar service, song, prayer..etc. Although, I really should have thought about songs being played. I should have prepared myself a little more, but I was busy trying to convince myself that I could get through it. And you know what? I got through it. I managed. And I was able to give some comfort, if only just a little, along with some support to my cousins and my uncle, just like they did for us when we lost Carly.
As for my "ugly pair of shoes" they hurt like HELL....
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