A Rock in Your Shoe

I’m sure over the next few weeks you (whoever is reading this) will get tired of my talking about Charlie and the way I feel now and the way I felt when he was born and when he died.

It seems that the one year mark was by far the toughest. But this 5 year mark is in second place for the most painful. I have found myself talking about Charlie a LOT over the last couple of weeks. Mostly to people who might not know anything about him or our situation. I find myself “sharing” him with others now. Previously I wanted to keep him all to myself.

A little while after he died, a girl I volunteered with at the Ronald McDonald House shared her idea with me about the grieving process. She lost her 5 year old to Cancer a few years earlier so she had experience.

She said grieving was much like having a rock in your shoe.

And you can’t get it out. Can’t take the shoe off and shake it. It is there and always will be.

At first it cuts into your heel and ball of your foot causing you to bleed and be in pain. Then after a little while, you can wiggle it around and get it into a spot where you can’t feel it too much. But every now and then something will happen and make that rock get under the heel of your foot – causing you to bleed and be in pain. So you go through life with this rock in your shoe that sometimes causes you a lot of pain and sometimes is just “there”.

I thought that was very interesting at the time. And now I know that it is very true.

I attended a visitation for a friend’s stepdad tonight at the funeral home where Charlie was. I remember our visitation almost too vividly. I remember greeting hundreds of people (seriously, like 300) from locally and from places several hours away. It was very humbling. I have been in that room for various visitations over the last 5 years with very little pain. But tonight for some reason when I walked in the room, I felt physically ill. Like I might throw up. I remember feeling that way the first time I went in the church where we had his service (my home church…not the one we are members of) and that morning they just happened to have a baptism and sang “Jesus Loves Me”. Again, I felt physically ill.

You never know what is going to trigger one of those “Moments” and the moment might not make you cry and get all emotional or anything, but it puts a knot in your stomach and makes your hands shake and just makes you feel that rock in your shoe. But I’ll be able to wiggle it back out of the way and go for a little while until it decides to get under my heel again.

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  1. {{{{{HUGS}}}}} Jana! I think you’re an amazingly strong woman. Allowing yourself to feel and understand those moments of pain is important, I think. I will keep you in my thoughts during this painful time.

  2. Jana,I am so sorry for your loss. I read your post on the iVillage Parenting after Stillbirth/Infant Loss and decided to look at your blog. My first daughter, Grace, was stillborn three years ago. I agree with the rock in the shoe analogy, that pretty well sums it up.Take Care,Andrea

  3. I love you sweet Jana…


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