The month of October is a special month for bereaved parents everywhere. It’s the month set aside especially for parents who’ve experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. Grieving parents often express how grateful they are for this month as many feel forgotten about. They fear their child has been forgotten and that’s a real fear when your child matters so much to you.
I recently came across this poem that I felt so plainly and clearly captured what many of my clients describe as their experience in the loss community.
I don’t know the author so I can’t properly credit them but I think these words are beautifully and powerfully written. It’s a reminder that you’re not alone and that many are on the same unwanted and unfortunate journey. There is hope and beauty in community and togetherness. Find a community that understands and can give you the support you need and deserve.
“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.”