By Mary A Thompson
Oct 6, 2010
I am walking a path; it is a path no woman should ever have to follow. Yet, it is a path so many have taken, even my own mother. It's a path we do not choose, but one we unhappily share. It is a path of sorrow with footsteps so heavy they sound of thunder.
I am walking a path and its raining. I haven't been walking long, but the rain never seems to stop. The skies are crying for all of us because it seems as though we have no more tears to shed. But, my tears, like the rain, continue to fall.
I am walking a path; a path so similar yet still so different from those who have walked before me. Some days, I can see a light, a break in the clouds maybe; its faint, but a light all the same. Other days, all I can see is the rain, nothing on the horizon but the gloom, it surrounds me. Still, every day, there is a single, beautiful butterfly; she follows me faithfully.
I am walking a path; a path sometimes so difficult that I can't go on and must stop. As faithful as ever, the butterfly stops with me. She sits on my shoulder, gently fluttering her beautiful wings and patiently waiting for me to regain my strength. She remains by my side, hardly moving, a quiet source of comfort until I am ready to move forward again. She knows; some how, some way she understands.
I am walking a path and it seems like forever. There's no doubt I have changed; a little older, a little wiser as they say. But my faithful little butterfly has remained the same. She has been with me from the very first step I took on this path; always there for me, even when I was so sure I couldn't continue. She has been very loyal, unerringly so. Could it be...is it possible? Is it her?
I am walking a path; a path I can never leave, moving forward, yes, but constantly looking back. It is a path I have come to accept but still hate; a path, although difficult, I know with time will get easier. It's a path that will remain for forever in my future and always be an enormous part of my present and past. But will my constant companion, my beautiful source of comfort stay with me? I honestly hope so, but only time will tell. I do know one thing for certain...my journey, my path will never change. I will always walk this path, the path of a woman who has lost a child.
about this piece.
I wrote this poem about six weeks after Addison was born. My husband and I had gone away for a long weekend when the poem came to me. We did a lot of walking through the woods during this trip, down long and winding paths. It just reminded me of our journey to survive the loss of our daughter. -Mary
about the poet.
Mary Thompson's first child was stillborn August 27, 2010, just 3 days before her due date. "Her name is Addison BreannShe is and always will be my little butterfly. The first time I felt her move, it felt like butterfly wings which is why I call her my butterfly," explains Mary.