Logan was a runner, logging thousands of miles in his shoes, enough miles to cross the U.S. at least a few times. He wore his shoes down to the bare threads before retiring them for a new pair with fresh treads. Logan was like a race car going through tires. He loved the freedom of the run.
Transitioning to the other dimension
Everything changed the early morning hours of July 22, 2016 when Logan was driving back home. From what the police can tell, Logan was speeding and possibly distracted after putting his cell phone down. He crashed his green Toyota pick-up truck head-on into a tree, just inches away from a trail he ran practically every day. Logan was less than a half-mile away from home, to never see it again.
Six hours after the crash, Logan died at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond. He was broken from the inside out.
I brought Logan into this world via emergency c-section on Jan. 8, 1997. Nineteen years later, I held on to him as he transitioned to the next life (Logan referred to Heaven as the other dimension).
I am nearly seven months into my grief journey trying to figure out how to deal with the desperate sadness of losing my only child.
Logan is here if I allow myself to work through this life long relationship called grief. I am new at this compared to the other brave bereaved parents who have been on this trail of tears far longer than me. I am in awe of their strength and courage. The most special people in the world.
Story behind “in logan’s shoes”
When I wanted to throw out his smelly worn-out running shoes in the trash, Logan insisted on keeping them as pieces of inspiration. He held onto about 12 pairs and gave a few others to friends. I thought he was complete nuts.
Logan’s most prized shoes were the ones he ran his first marathon in. He packed those up, plus his medal (top 5 in his age division), and wrote a letter of encouragement on the back of his bib, put the items in a box, sloppily wrapped it up with paper and duct tape and gave it to a friend for Christmas a few years ago. Logan told me his young friend needed words of hope that his running shoes and medal symbolized.
When I look at Logan’s first “real” pair of long distance running shoes (the kind that costs over $100), the souls are worn through. Thick, durable tread reduced to holes. The fabric on the sides unraveled. Little to nothing holding the shoes together. As if he ran the rubber right off.
The worn shoes make me think about Logan’s will and determination to overcome his learning disabilities, asthma and physical challenges, and to cope with his depression, anxiety and eating disorder. He had many deep struggles.
Logan was nine when he lost his father to suicide – and later, Logan struggled with suicidal ideation like his dad did. That’s where the running and physical fitness came in. Logan found hope in challenging his mind and body to be an athlete.
Connecting with Logan by running in my shoes
Four months on the grief trail, I knew I had to do something to survive, to keep on going. If I couldn’t heal my shattered heart, I could make my body stronger.
I mentally stepped in Logan’s shoes and thought – maybe I should run again.
That’s when I hear him, even his tips as to how I should run. He’s running backwards flashing his big smile, encouraging me to push through. For the first time in years, I experience a new PR in my run time. After I cross the finish line, I feel the thrill Logan felt so many times when he gave it his all on the track. That connection draws me even closer to him.
Logan has a story to tell that may help others who feel worn, broken and frayed like his shoes. I will do my best to tell it. By Tamara, Logan’s mom