This morning, more than one year after he died , I finally moved Nathan’s shoes.

Rosalind Davis, March 11, 2017

This morning I finally moved Nathan’s shoes. For over a year they have remained at the front door where he left them. Well, not exactly. He always left them in the middle of entrance where I would trip over them. But I have forgiven him for that. Forgiving myself may take a bit longer as I remember our conversations from the past…

“My skin is crawling” Nathan tells me. I stare at him so confused. “It is what my anxiety feels like; like my skin is crawling and I want to escape my body.” In my head, I think it sounds like a melodramatic way to describe what I call “nervous tummy” – something that can easily be remedied by clasping my hands and taking ten deep breaths.

Fast forward a few months. “Tell me what waking up feels like. Why is it so hard?” the grief counsellor asks me.

I’m shaking my head at my own advice: ten deep breaths? It’s like I’m suffocating. Sometimes I scream. Sometimes I can’t.

I answer, “Because I remember he is dead. And my skin starts crawling.”

…We may never know what someone else feels or why they handle situations differently. What we do know is that they took a different path to get to that point and they walked in different shoes. Sometimes all we can do is cross paths without judgment or advice. Sometimes we can walk beside them. Sometimes we can offer our hand.

To whoever finds Nathan’s shoes, I pray all the paths you cross on your life walk will be gentle and kind.

And to Nathan, wherever you are, thank you. Thank you for crossing paths with me. Happy Birthday Nathan. Today, I am celebrating your path and the brief walk we took together.