Until You Can Walk Again

Greetings one and all

As I sit at my desk this evening my heart is heavy as I hold a very dear friend in my heart. Yesterday I received a phone call saying that her daughter had died. This is a parent’s worst nightmare! None of us ever dreams that we will have to bury our child and yet it happens. When it does, for people of faith, it can be a testing time as we try to make sense out of what is senseless. Where is God in the midst of this? If there is a God, how could he/she allow this to happen? It becomes very problematic if our faith tells us that God is all-seeing, all-knowing and in control of everything. Even if our faith says that Divine presence is not in control but is an energy that surrounds us and lifts us up, giving us strength in the most difficult of times it can still be filled with doubts and questions. Simply put, there is no easy way or magic formula to deal with this kind of tragedy.

I believe that this is when community support and care is of the utmost importance. Although there are no words that will ease the pain, loving arms to hold, a shoulder to cry on, someone to carry you until you can walk alone, will make the journey easier. I have never had to bury my own son/daughter however I have buried my grandson. During that time, if it were not for the family, friends and community that surrounded us we would not have been able to endure. This, paired with words from our faith story, helped us to know that we were not alone and one day the light would shine again.

I wish I had the words to say to my friend that would make it all better but of course I did not. But there are little things along the way that people say and do that can help. My daughter Terri began to accumulate poems and readings that spoke to her being and gave strength to her soul. Things that she could look at and reflect on as the days and years moved on. One of the ones that has spoken greatly to her is a piece called “A Pair of Shoes” author unknown.

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 other’s 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 to walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so that they don’t hurt quite so 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.

From our stories of faith we can also find words such as these:

“ Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

“ Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

“ God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”

“ He will lead you to the springs of living water and wipe away every tear from your eyes.”

If you find yourself on this road may you be surrounded by light and love that will hold you until you can walk again. May you know the presence of Divine that fills your soul.
Blessings, Valerie

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