Wearing a Widow shoes and traveling on a journey down a road you rather not travel on. In the words of Robert Frost I wish I could turn back and take the road less traveled. The shoes that I am now wearing I wish I could trade them in, donate them, or just give them away. A widow shoes comes in all different shapes, styles, and designs just as our grief we are all in different stages. Some of us are in the slipper’s stage; we are flat on our faces because we are fresh in our new shoes (Widow Shoes). We are in disbelief, we are shocked, we are questioning, we are lost for words, we are angry, we are fearful, we are broken, we are in darkness.
January 10, 2019 started my journey, I was introduced to my slippers. My husband died of a heart attack as he was sleeping, when his heart stopped my heart broke. I became a widow at 10:30 p.m. as I was getting ready for bed my bedroom turned into a road that I did not expect to travel. I wore nursing shoes that night, until the paramedic’s came. I was in flight or fight mode and I was praying the my CPR skills, and training would work!! It had to work!! I was not ready to wear a widow shoes. Just like that I was a widow at 43 years old, I wore slippers the first 6 months; some days I traveled with no shoes; because I was too weak, tired, and fragile.
I tried to walk in my wedge widow shoes because my husband loved to see me in any type of heels because I only stand 4”11, he was 6’6. I would carefully pick out the perfect pair when visiting his grave. I was weak, broken, and still grieving but trying to make sense of my new life. This is the time when widows have to have some strong ankle support because we have to stand strong paperwork is constantly being changed and the wedges are perfect for supporting us. This is when I found myself breaking down in banks, doctors offices, with the mortgage company, and numerous of places becoming cold and shivering because I had to check the widow box and change my next of kin.
This widow journey is not EASY and only a WIDOW can truly understand the pain that grows deep inside each and every day. Just when you think you can put the slippers in the closet because you are strong enough to stand you have to pull them out of the closet because you need those widow shoes to travel the birthday, the holidays, the wedding anniversary, the anniversary of the death, a special day you shared together, you break down and cry because something breaks in the house and you can’t fix it!!!
A widow shoes are big shoes to fill and I have learned it takes a strong women to wear and travel the journey of a widow.
This is the phase wear you change between your tennis shoes and 3 to 4 inch heels. You need the tennis shoes because you are constantly moving trying not to stay stagnant because it is not good for your mental health. I wore my tennis shoes, trying to figure out how to clean his side of the dresser. I opened his closet to smell him, I wrapped myself in his robe to comfort me. I went into his room and tried to reorganize his recliner, his movies, his CDs, his book collection, his hats, and his orange and blue Florida gators.
I wore tennis shoes because I needed to move more and do things that I did not have to do. Putting gas in the car, going grocery shopping, taking the car in for an oil change, changing out light bulbs in the house. Listening to everyone’s advice as they tell you it is time to move his things out of the house, it is time for you to take off your wedding ring, it is time for you to try and date again, “He would not want you like this”. The tennis shoes was my safety net, as I would rush in to the stores hoping not to see anyone because I just did not have the energy to fake a smile. The tennis shoes allowed me to dodge people, and to hide until it was safe to come out.
A widow shoes have thick soles and are designed for you to have cushion to get you to the next phase. I pulled out my shiny sparkly 3 1/2 heels wanting to walk tall, with so much confidence masking the pain, I just wanted to feel like that happy married women; who was so in love with with husband who would sit and wait for him to come home, when he left the house for a hair cut. I wanted to feel like that women who helped her husband get dressed on Sunday mornings, and I would always love for him to wear his cuff links that said, “ I love my wife”! I wanted to wear these 3 1/2 inch heels so I could feel like that women; who said a very loud Amen, as my husband stood to preach the gospel. I wanted to feel like that women a married women.
Not wanting to accept the reality of my new role in my new shoes.
Just like shoes come in all shapes and styles, we each have different moments of grief, different shapes of grief, some of us are strong enough to walk in our heels and others of us change our shoes to fit the steps that we must take each day.
Let us all take some joy in the fact that we are not alone in this walk we are wearing our shoes and making it through each day one small step at a time.
Jamie Foster resides in Daphne, Alabama with her daughter and two grand puppies. On January 10, 2019 at 10:30 p.m. her life was shattered as the man that God kept for her suffered a heart attack in his sleep. A fairytale that began so beautifully just three years prior ended in tragedy. She made a statement two years before she started dating Rev. Kenneth Foster, as he preached a sermon at her church. She said to a friend, “I am going to marry Rev. Foster one day, and make him a very good wife”. Two years later, after about 4 dinner dates, Kenneth told her; that God showed him that she was his wife. They married a few months later on November 28, 2015. In three years, they lived out their wedding vows richer, poorer, sickness, health, and till death do us part.
She never imagined that she could feel so much pain in her entire body!! The love of her life the man she prayed for is now gone. She immediately began to question everything she knew, everything she believed in.
After Kenneth’s death, she had nothing else to hold on to but the Faith that they talked about, the Faith that he preached about. The road is a difficult one, but she pushes forward. On this journey, she has come in contact with women all over the world who share the same grief and the same pain that she does. She started to find comfort and joy in knowing that others understood her heartache and pain.
In 2021, she left her full-time job to focus on her Mental Health. She became the CEO of Foster & Foster H.R. Solutions, an Independent Insurance Agent, a blogger of Foundation of Truths, a Motivational Speaker, and she is penning the pages to a book that is long overdue.
Jamie always knew that her gift, was her powerful voice and she is walking in her purpose. It is to help encourage, motivate, inspire, and lift up all of her fellow sisters as we are all on this journey together. She lives each day no matter how hard, by the words of Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans he has for me”.