Friday, January 14, 2011
Time is true and false
Time will go on...
Time will make it easier...
Time heals all pains...
It takes time...
After a parent loses a child we hear these kind of statements all the time. These statements are very true and these statements are false.
Time does keep going on...
True--People kept going to church, birthdays happened, holidays came and went, homecomings were planned, anniversaries were celebrated. Time does keep going on and on even when we wish it would stop.
False--In your head, in your memory system time has stopped. It does not continue because that day, that event, the death is played over and over again in your head. A parent may look like they are paying attention to the outside world but inside, inside their heart and mind they are somewhere back in time. Back to when their child was alive or back to the day of the accident or back to the death. Even back to the day of the funeral, back to the cemetery. We are often back in time in our mind and certainly in our hearts.
Time will make it easier...
True---I believe there is a slight hint of truth in this statement. Time does not necessarily make it easier, make the loss or pain easier but it does make it more manageable. After time we have the knowledge, the history that we have survived 10 days, 8 months, 4 years. With this we know that we will be able to survive 15 years, etc. We know that we will be able to survive the birthdays because we survived 3 previous ones. Time gives us the assurance that we will live through the 5th anniversary of their death because we have survived the last 4. History does repeat itself and in this case the history of survival or the history of breaking down will repeat itself.
False---Time does not make me miss DJ any less. I miss him with every ounce of my being and will never stop missing him. With this all said I remember someone telling me that the pain will be worse after a few months of DJ's death. I couldn't imagine this could possibly be true but unfortunately it was. After such a severe trauma your body, your mind goes into survival mode. It shuts down and is numb, there is a chemical that is released and it protects us from the pain. I know I certainly didn't think I felt numb after DJ passed away but apparently I did because a few months after his death the pain was worse. The chemical had worn off, time had released it and the pain was much more intense. I would never had believed it if it hadn't happened to me but time did make the pain worse.
Time heals all pain---
True--It heals the deep pain, the pain that comes from the soul. It heals the pain that comes from deep in the heart that only a parent that loses a child can feel, can understand. It heals some of it.
False--The pain doesn't go away fully ever!! This statement probably bothers me the most of all because a parent is never healed of the loss. It is always just a memory away. The pain is just below the surface and can remain hidden down for long periods of time but boy it can jump to the top of the heart in a flash. The pain can spring like a coil and tip us over and knock us about.
It takes time---
True--It takes time to figure out how to handle situations, how to handle the pain. It takes time to walk through the walk of loss and find your path in it. It doesn't happen over night, it does not happen quickly, it takes time. How long? It depends on the person, it depends on the day. Some people seem to quickly figure out their path, what to do and how to do it. Others it takes years. Of course some things are easier to figure out then others. What to make for dinner is easier than what to do with my child's clothes after he passes away. When to send the remaining children back to school is easier than what will we put on the headstone.
False--Just when we think we have things handled, just when we think we have the death of our child tucked safely away in our hearts something will hit us and all that time is gone. It is as if our child is dying again in front of us or the funeral is playing freshly in our brain as if we were there. We can go back in time in an instant, we can relive it all over again with just the touch of a button to our hearts.
Everything takes time--pain, joy, despair, healing, loss, tears, laughter, reliving. It all takes time so do not judge a parent that seems to be taking more time than you think is necessary. It all takes time and even time of our friends to listen to us, to love us and support us. No one knows the time line, their is no instruction manual except to say it all takes time.