Here is a realist take on grief. Time does help. Time is like a new layer of skin that develops over a gaping wound. It takes awhile before the wound is covered, and even then, that new protective layer is quite fragile. But if tended to properly, that new layer of skin will completely cover the wound and most people will never know you had an injury. Even if no physical signs remain, you will remember the wound.
That’s how I feel this year, as I approach the third year anniversary of my father’s death. As I’ve mentioned, I’m back working in the same building as I was on the day he died. All of the same Christmas decorations are back up. I’ve been struck with bouts of wistfulness and flashbacks to that day when I got the call that my father had died. But the black cloud isn’t quite as dark as it was the last couple of years. Of course, nowadays concern for Mom takes up a lot of my thinking time. But still, I know part of this is the natural grieving process.
There is no timetable. For some people, it may take a year, for others several years, and frankly, some people may never escape those black clouds. None of us should be judged by how we grieve. Of course, if we think loved ones are in danger of hurting themselves or others because of the weight of their grief, then action should be taken to intervene and get them help. But the grieving process is very personal. While it may help to read books to know the stages of grief, etc., it truly is one of those things you don’t fully understand until you experience it.
How have you handled your grief over the loss of a loved one? Has the passage of time helped?
8 responses to “Time makes some wounds less painful”
By coincidence it is exactly a year ago today my Mum was admitted to hospital. Little did I know then that she would never go home and that she would pass away in Feb, just two days before her birthday.
Whilst we have our tree up and I am going through the motions, I am not festive and I do not know if I will ever recover fully. We somehow, learn to cope with the situation. Coping and recovery are very different things.
That is so very true Julie. We learn to cope, but part of us never recovers from the loss.
I counted 6 years for me since my dad died and now it’s been 3 years since my mother passed. I grieved differently for each parent. It was harder with my dad because he went first. When it was Mom’s time, I was stronger and was really present and strangely happy for her she was now going to be back with Dad. I’ve told you before, I was one of the lucky ones who was able to be bedside with both parents as they left us. I think that opportunity makes the grieving process easier.
I hope I can be stronger and a bit wiser too when Mom’s time comes. She has a great outlook on death, and life after death, so that makes things somewhat easier.
I have to say it was a whole lot easier for me to deal with the death of my mom after my dad. I’m glad your mom has a great outlook on death. I also think it’s easier for them to know their husband is already “somewhere” waiting for them. It was for my mom. I know you’ll be strong when the time comes. Enjoy these holidays with your mom.
Agree, Mom is at that point where most of her loved ones have departed, and whatever may be on the other side, she knows she will never see them again in this world, and that has been tough for her.
I never knew my father from an adult perspective. I never experienced the threshold experiences with him: high school and college graduations, marriage, children, or grandchildren. So I cherish all of these times when I experience them with my own children and grandchildren. I remain wistful about the time I lost with my father, and even with my mother, who was never quite “whole” after that. When she died 35 years after my father my first and prevailing thought was, “She is finally with him again.”
Thanks for sharing. We may not be able to make up for lost time, but like you are doing, we can cherish our time spent with those in the here and now.