I’ve been going through Chris’ things. I slowly triage the boxes and books, the clothes and the CDs. But some things I can’t do anything with. His shoes for instance... I can’t bring myself to even remove them from the shoe rack. A person needs shoes, especially in the winter! If he came back and found all his shoes gone, what would he do...
We wear in our shoes. We break them in. We leave an imprint of ourselves, our weight, our gait, in our shoes. How could they be anyone else’s? They’re so personal, so individual.
I recently read a poem entitled Death in Absentia which contains these evocative words: Like a pebble in my shoe / I’ll walk with you for the remainder of my days.
So what else can I do but keep Chris’ shoes? Joan Didion wrote so very eloquently about this heartbreaking and illogical dilemma in The Year of Magical Thinking. I remember thinking her predicament odd when I read the book, but now I understand.
So many things in life seem odd until we experience them... and then we understand. We walk a new path - in someone else’s shoes.