A Poem for Mothers who Have Lost a Child

Elizabeth - posted on 01/16/2010 ( 78 moms have responded )

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We lost our son, Colin, two years ago today. Here is a poem someone sent me soon after his death. It is so true in that it has made me what I am today. I am unsure of the author of the poem.

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable 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 woman 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.

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Elizabeth - posted on 06/18/2013

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I don't think it would cause more pain. Something like this can be healing and almost comforting, knowing that ppl want to understand but just can't exactly (and truly don't want to!). I know I would have liked it, everyone is different, but I think it would be OK to read

Kaylee&mommykat - posted on 02/10/2012

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This poem inspire us all for those women like me whose children were taken from us when our childrens lives has ended here and begins in the afterlife...thank you for sharing...



Mini prayer 4m me

"Now i lay me down to sleep...

as teardrops falls down my cheek...

I dream of you both all through the night...

As i wake with smiles in morning light...



We love you both so much,

Jaden Ken & Kaden Ben Potters

Love, Mommy Daddy Ashlee & Kaylee

Concetta - posted on 11/24/2013

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I lost my daughter Kelly, Feb 9, 2010 from an auto accident..I still cannot go back and play back the events that took place that day. When I try, it's like someone puts a huge piece of concrete on my chest..I have to literally give my head a shake, I hold my heart take a very deep breath and think about something else. The Poem on the shoes is perfect. Some days, I'll soak my feet in very warm water and they feel a little relaxed...but when I have to come back to the reality of everyday and my feet come out of that warm water..They ache again, sometimes more than before I placed them in that warm water.

To Any Mother who has ever lost a child, and asks the question, when will the pain go away, or get easier...I know..I asked those same questions..My answer..Never. You learn that there are places and time that you can "put your feet in some warm water" But when they come out..th pain is still there. It will always be there.I have learned to give thanks to God for everything in my life, even the devastation. My faith in God and the way I was raised in a traditional Italian-Catholic home help me through..I pray for all of the Mother's out there who have given a child back before they were ready.....in reality, you're never ready...ask the parent who is 80 and loses their child at 60. I myself find solace that Gods Will and the promises of Christ will
sustain me.

Niecey - posted on 04/17/2013

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I lost my only daughter on November 17, 2012. She was 26. She was beautiful, smart, and loved everyone she ever met with the love of a friend. Her patients showed up in droves at her funeral, kids she went to high school with, college friends, neighbors both current and those who had moved, three pastors, and of course our church family. I am still forcing myself to get out of bed every morning and to get through the day. I still look for her to come home a little after 5 every day. It still seems like a nightmare. Can anyone tell me if this ever stops? Niecey

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Selene - posted on 07/31/2014

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Thank you for posting this. I heard of this poem from my best friend, whose daughter was murdered ten years ago, but she didn't have the poem. Then I forgot about it. Now, I wear those shoes. In January, my son died in his sleep from SUDEP, Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. I found him, with his kitty resting on his back. She loved him, stayed with him, and was the last one to be with him. She never left him until I came. An, as fate would have it, he died on the same day his grandma, my mom, died several years ago. Then his and my birthday were both shortly thereafter. January has taken on a whole new meaning.

He was my first born, and an older child at age 42. Cannot explain the grief and pain. It doesn't matter their age, as they are still your baby. Until you wear these shoes, you do not understand the deep pain of losing a child, no matter the circumstances. Linda, my friend, would always say that nobody gets it. I didn't. I knew she was suffering, devastated. She has been through this, and understands. She is my "mentor" and has been on this journey for 11 years now, and now we will be walking in our ugly shoes together.

As humans, we all have "Rites of Passage", birth to death and in between. We expect to lose our parents and older relatives. This is in the natural order of life, but losing your child is not. It is like the shoes, we don't want them or it. Making sense of the loss makes no sense. IT IS and ALWAYS WILL BE what it is. Be with those and who you love, pray if you can, and attempt to find laughter, too, in the memories.

Many years of memories bombard me every day from his birth, childhood, teens, 20s, 30s, etc., and even my pregnancy with him. Family memories of holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, sports, pets. Yes, everything reminds me of him. Never knowing what will trigger a memory, or when, means crying anywhere. I have had to stop driving. And then, in the midst of tears, I smile, and often laugh as I remember the beauty of his life.

Unfortunately, there are those who feel that after 6 months, or longer you should have moved on, get over it. I don't, won't, can't listen. This is my heart, my son. This is forever. I do get on with my life, as life does march on, with or without us. I do what must be done, love my other kids and grand-kids, spend days with friends, but there is and always will be one empty spot at the table. The first holidays are excruciating. His wedding anniversary is tomorrow. He also lost a child, and grieved that baby. I find some comfort that he is with his little one, but now I cry for both. He was living with me, as his marriage did not heal. I will make sure his death was not in vain, and to be there for others is part of my mission for the rest of my life.

Be kind to yourself. Grieve your way. There is no right or wrong, and do not let others influence you or make you feel guilty. You have lost your own flesh and blood. I, and all of us who grieve our children, can say we now know the pain of our Blessed Mother in the loss of her child. God bless you all.

Lucy - posted on 06/22/2014

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I am so sorry for your lost. I understand how it is to lose someone you love....your child is a pain unexplainable. I have lost my child my son to drugs. He may still walk this earth but is like he is dead. I cry many nights and days when no one is around to see me. Just like your poem no one wants to ask me what is wrong or how they can help....there is no answers to what you feel and how to make it go way or make it better.
There is time that I dont want to get out of bed or even breath put it just happens on its own....Maybe somehow his ship will sail in before it is truly to late....but I do feel the same pain how I just wish it would just go away. I will think for you lovely lady Ms Elizabeth. Always Lucy

Lrserpe - posted on 06/08/2014

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I love shoes. These shoes hurt more than any I have worn in 53 years on this planet. I lost my sweet Laila, 12 years old, in a skiing accident 5 years ago. Working every day to fit into these new shoes…not liking it at all. My sweet Laila would have turned 18 June 4, and would have graduated from high school today. I survived the day, but OUCH

Kristin - posted on 05/31/2014

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I am so glad to find this site. I lost my baby girl, Ashley, March 2000. I remember back to the raw pain, like a knife constantly in my back. Time makes the pain not as sharp, but it is always there. The poem brought the emotions out again. A few things that comforted me back then and now are: 1. The Love that God has for me. He understands, because He lost His son, Jesus, on the cross. He does not want us to go through this, but we live on Earth and sad things happen. He loves our children. Matthew 19:13-15. 2. The song With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman. Just a few years ago, I got to listen to him and his wife speak about their daughter who died (years after the song was written). They are an encouraging couple- I sat in the stands and cried due to their inspiration. 3. A local Christian radio station helped me. I remember turning on the radio in the middle of the night when I was up crying and a perfect song or talk would come on to comfort me. God is Good and He will help you each day. This group is a blessing to be able to share and help others. Thank-you.

Mary - posted on 05/11/2014

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The shoes we have to wear do seem so heavy, I have only been wearing them for a month and they feel like concrete blocks, I feel stronger than I did a month ago but have along way to go.

Jackie - posted on 05/10/2014

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Brandy,
Thank you for sharing I lost my 11 year old 3 weeks ago... I also have a 6 year old and they were best friends! He is taking it so hard! Very angry,, scared to sleep in room,, gets upset to wear the shirt we all had made for my son drew... Did your children experience any of this and of so how long did it last?
Thank you in advance ... Jackie cerreta

Jackie - posted on 05/10/2014

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Thank you for sharing! I just lost my beautiful son drew age 11 three weeks ago. I don't start group until Thursday! My days seem to get worse and worse! Coming on here and seeing what mothers are going through gives me a idea. I refuse to talk to someone who hasn't been in my situation so I'm very happy to find this group! God bless you all

Gail - posted on 01/06/2014

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Your poem is so true and honestly explains how I feel. I lost my beautiful son on December 28, 2013 when he took his life. I don't know if I will ever feel whole again because there is an emptiness in me that can't be filled. I can't stand to look in a mirror at my face because I hate what I see -- I should be the one who is gone, not him. We had been estranged for many years and for all of those years I pleaded with him to come back and forgive me for whatever wrong I committed, but he never did. I am 71 years old, and Brian was 47 on October 24th, 2013. These shoes hurt so bad and I stumble in them and try to walk, but walking is just too hard. I know I'm not alone in my pain, but it doesn't help to know that now.

Melanie - posted on 11/19/2013

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Very nice poem. I lost my 14 year old suddenly on august 12, 2013. Everyday is a struggle for me now, especially when the 12th of each month grows near. I am frightened for christmas to come and it would also be his 15th birthday on dec 28. I can't wait for this yearto be over, as nothing in this world can possibly be worse than the pain and fear
I am feeling now.

Amanda - posted on 11/19/2013

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Amanda Allen
An angel in the Book of Life wrote down my baby's birth.
And whispered as she closed the book, "Too beautiful for earth." My son Michael who is now in Heaven would have been 22 this Sat. And I wanted to say Happy Birthday I love you and miss you.

Jessa - posted on 11/15/2013

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I just lost my sweet angel on November 9, 2013+ He was diagnosed with Caudal Regression Syndrome on November 5, 2013. His spine quit forming at the waist and he has no bone structure from the waist down. His only organs are his heart and brain and his brain was full of fluid )': I was exactly 19 weeks when i gave birth to my sweet baby boy♥ )': My Kayden is now in heaven with his grandpa Joe, and I still don't know how to handle all of this, I try keeping my mind busy, but it only works on the outside because on the inside I'm still falling apart and crumbling to the ground, but my family won't allow me to be depressed and upset so I hide my true feelings )': RIP My sweet baby boy Kayden Joseph Bonee 11/09/2013 8:35am♥♥ Mommy and Daddy's guardian angel!!

Jamillah - posted on 11/09/2013

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I have worn mine for three months now, losing my 26 year old to natural causes is so painful. He would be 27 this month on the 17 November 2013. Thank you for sharing this poem and all your comments. Justin's mom

Cindi - posted on 10/14/2013

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My son Lucas was killed in a car accident 10 years ago, he was 15. It took at least 5 years to start to see the beauty in things and laugh again. The heart ache never goes away, but I am able to enjoy life again. His death changed my life forever!,

Thank you for sharing the poem, beautifully written, the shoes we wear do give us the strength to face anything!!

Donna - posted on 09/16/2013

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Two weeks ago tomorrow I learned that my precious baby growing inside of me had passed away. My doctor told me that my only option was to deliver so I did. Oh how my heart still breaks & longs for him. At the time of delivery we were able to find out it was alittle boy---we named Timothy Luke. I was 14 weeks. Oh how my husband & I were so excited to welcome him into our arms and family. He was our first child and a miracle at that as I had been told about a month before finding out I was pregnant that I could not get pregnant. I have cried every day for 2 weeks. Oh, will the heartache and pain ever really go away?

Diane - posted on 08/21/2013

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My Son John, passed June 25th 2013, it was a tuesday a day after his dads birthday, that day i was ready to take him away from the house and neighborhood, i knew something was bothering him prior to his passing, even asked him if he was depressed so we can go for help.. the night before at 9:30 i kissed him goodnight, told him how much i loved him and how handsome he was, and not to go out, because he was studyin. I also said to him it (;30 just want you to know im going to bed, dont go out please stay hom..fell asleep around 10:00pm. He got a tex from a kid he knew since he was 14, this kid was thrown out of a private hs his first year, and gave up on life and himself...john moved on graduated and had the world at his feet, an athlete, with a smile that would light up a room, a promising career and parents who adored him. that monday nigh the kid tex my son to come over that he had something he might like, john did not drive, so the kid and the mom came to pick him up at 10;30 pm. he called our house at 4:30 to say he was statyin over that he loved me and would see me in the morning..he never showed up. instead i got a visti from three detectives telling me my son didnt make it..at that house something happened, the kid was taken to hospital with an OD of prescription pills, my son was found outside on someones random stoop, he was last seen alive at 7:00 my sons case is under investigation. I am heartbroken beyond words, prayer is keeping me together, but this pain is the worst feeling in the world, and not really knowing what happen untill autopsy comes in sept is the worst...i feel lost,anagry betrayed and jaded out of life. i even feel anger towards my son john, for ging out , and being around such an iressponsible family...

Amy - posted on 06/18/2013

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Elizabeth, Thank you so much for replying to my post. I have had very different opinions about if I should read it. I personally think it would be okay as well and maybe even good, but some think the memorial is to celebrate the child's life and not the pain in it all. I think I just want my friend to know that I am trying to understand her pain and that I am not afraid to talk about it and that I will always be here for her.
I don't have a 100% confidence I am doing the right thing so I may just give it to her in a card. I wish I had the strength to know for sure what to do. You made me feel better though... Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem and helping me during these sad and difficult times. God bless you!

Elizabeth - posted on 06/18/2013

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Of course you can use this! I am unsure of the author, a friend sent this to me after my son died, but I know she didn't write it, so anyone is welcome to use it!!

Elizabeth - posted on 06/18/2013

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Marilyn- of course you can use this! I am unsure of the author, a friend sent this to me after my son died, but I know she didn't write it, so anyone is welcome to use it!!

Amy- I don't think it would cause more pain. Something like this can be healing and almost comforting, knowing that ppl want to understand but just can't exactly (and truly don't want to!). I know I would have liked it, everyone is different, but I think it would be OK to read.

Amy - posted on 06/18/2013

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I want to read this at my friends child memorial service. Or do you think it would cause more pain? So unsure what to do. Can anyone offer advice?

Thank you

Mell - posted on 05/30/2013

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a cousin of mines lost her 5yr old daughter a month ago and just hearing about it brings back some of the awfull feelings I had when I lost my daughter 17yrs ago.She was stillborn so a lot of times people were saying to me "At least you didn"t get used to a child in the house yet" that was painful because my husband and I were looking forward to her birth and she was fullterm.We were so broken we stayed without kids for years before getting pregnant again.We still talk about her sometimes but we are healed now and have a wonderful daughter and son now.This poem is really hearttouching.

Marlene - posted on 05/20/2013

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Thank you for posting this. I just lost my son on December 22, 2012 and those shoes are still making my feet ache and wonder if I'll ever feel half way normal again. Maybe this is the new norm to wear a mask and try to make others feel comfortable around you? Only those MOMS that have lost a child know how your heart feels ripped from your chest, but I do think those shoes give us courage and strength to take one step after another until we see them again. God bless you in the loss of your son.

Brandy Michelle - posted on 05/18/2013

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I'm sorry for your loss I lost my son a little over a month ago he would have been 8 years old this month my two daughters 2 and 4 also seen him after the attack am just so empty.

Mercedes - posted on 05/13/2013

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I lost my 5 yr old son 1 month ago it has been the hardest thing ever i cant seem to find any comfort or connect with anyone who knows how i feell as a mother . I have a 3 yr old daughter who saw the accident . Im so heartbroken

Joyce Glover - posted on 05/12/2013

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My Granddaughters little girl past away five days before her second birthday. I am so sorry that we have to wear these shoes. God is good and will take care of us.

Mariah - posted on 05/02/2013

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My daughter lost her first and only child . . . . . . my beautiful grandson. he was three months old. there is no grater loss then one of a child. this poem is so very true.

Marilyn - posted on 05/02/2013

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Elizabeth, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my 37 year old son, Randy and 16 year old grand-daughter, Sara, in September of 2006, in a car accident. I would love to use this poem in my May newsletter for our chapter of The Compassionate Friends. We are in Lake and Porter counties in NW Indiana. I, of course, would not do that without permission. I would mention Circle of Moms also. I think we all pretty much feel like this. Probably one of our most frequent discussions at our meetings. If you could let me know by response or at tcfnews@yahoo.com, I would appreciate it. Thank You.

Marilyn Rollins

KATHRYN - posted on 03/08/2013

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I'm so so sorry for you loss . I too lost my youngest he was 25 when passed on 10/ 10/2010 and still nothing clear to how he died . My only encouraging word i have for you is just know he really is not far from you . what was your sons name . how old was he? and when did he pass ?/ only if you want to share so i can pray for peace for you and him and your family

Elizabeth - posted on 03/08/2013

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I'm so very sorry for your loss. Absolutely you can use it. My thoughts are with you, your family and his precious children.

Sandy - posted on 03/08/2013

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Thanks for posting this poem, I want to copy it and read it at our next grief support group, if that's ok. My youngest son was left to die when his so called friends didn't get him to the ER, or even call 911 until they got their stories straight, and got rid of all the evidence.. it just breaks my heart, that I have lost him; because he didn't have to die !!! and his 3 children now must grow up without their Daddy !!!

Mary - posted on 12/20/2012

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My son was George who died in a car accident age 28 .three tears ago the pain never goes away the shoes still hurt .

Carol - posted on 11/20/2012

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How true that poem is, I have not heard it before but feel the hurt that goes with it.

Victoria M - posted on 08/22/2012

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This is amazing! I posted this to my page please go visit. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mother-to-Mother/113525892083144?ref=hl

Linda - posted on 01/28/2012

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I like this poem. My Lydia went to heaven on 1/30/2011. I'm still feeling pretty alone though. I have lots of very supportive friends, but I pray that they will never understand. Grieving is very lonely.

KATHRYN - posted on 01/26/2012

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I lost my adult son 15 months ago at age 25 . This poem helps me not feel so alone ..

Cindy - posted on 02/04/2010

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this poem sure does explain alot of the ugly truth. I hurt everyday and it has been almost 3 years my oldest daughter passed away. RIP Christina Lynn Humphries!!!!!!!

I will always love ya!!

Laura - posted on 02/01/2010

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IT HELPS ME HAVINE A WALL JUST FOR GEORG& MY OTHER 4 CHILDRENNDERSTAND THEY HAVEBEN SO STRONG THROUH IT ALL...

Laura - posted on 02/01/2010

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M SON WS BORN WITH CYSTICFIBROS & HAD A DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLA AND ALWAYS HAD A SMILE ON HISCE.HE LIT UP ANY ROOM HE WALKED IN RIP GEORGE RAY MOMMY LOVES MISSES YOU

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