time the healer

Time they say heals all wounds. Perhaps with basic abrasions and body injuries this is true. But for certain matters of the heart, I disagree. I don’t believe the pain of losing a loved one gets less over time; I don’t believe feelings of hurt in our heart lessen at all. And I don’t believe we HAVE to get over the feeling of loss after a certain amount of time. What I do believe is that we learn to live with our feelings. Over time the pain is still the same, but our ability to remember things without tears may increase. But just as suddenly a memory can reduce us to tears even years after something has occurred. The mind is an incredible tool and can so intently cause us to feel and recall things we thought possibly buried so deeply, they were forgotten.

I’ll never forget when I got the call my Grandfather had passed away, the feeling was that of being punched in the stomach so hard, I couldn’t breathe. I was living overseas at the time. I knew he was gravely ill and dying. However I am the eternal optimist and some tiny part of me felt certain he could beat this cancer ravaging his body. It was irrational, sure. But he was my grandfather and for a long time had played the role of my father as well. He had taken me horse riding, to netball every week, taught me to drive, he was amazing. He had side stepped death before after putting a drill through an artery and overcoming a massive stroke. Surely this too he could beat.

It was not to be, and getting that news so far from home was tough.

Now fifteen years later, do I feel the loss of my Grandfather any less? On the anniversary of his passing each year do I feel less sad than the year before? No, I can honestly say the pain of his loss still hurts. And the anniversary of his passing is just another day he isn’t here. Generally I can talk about him and remember him fondly and without tears, but it does not mean I miss him less or that time has healed the feeling of loss. And something like ANZAC day has me teary all day, as if it were only weeks since he passed.

So I do not feel time has healed my wound. I still miss my Grandfather nearly every day and whilst I can talk about him and remember him often without tears, sometimes the feeling of loss renders me speechless and tears will flow and flow and flow. Should I have “gotten over it” by now? I don’t care. He was an incredible man who deserves to be remembered every day, and whose loss should be felt deeply. And whilst I can live with the feelings of pain that missing him cause me, I don’t deny them and they are by no means healed by time.