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Is Time the great healer?

They say time is a great healer. But is it? Does time heal all wounds? I suppose it depends on how deep the wound is to begin with. How much time does it take to heal? How long is a piece of string?
I was conducting a funeral last week, where I bumped into the husband of a woman whose funeral I had handled earlier this year. I asked him how he was, how he was coping. Not very well, he said. ‘They’ were telling him that he should be starting to feel better, and he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t able to move on. I could understand why he couldn’t move on. He wasn’t ready to move on. How do you just move on from the woman who you spent 50 years of your life with? The woman who was the mother of your children. The woman who was your best friend. I gave him a hug and told him to take all the time that he needed.
Everyone has their own way of coping with grief and I told him that one day, he would wake up and realise that his wife wasn’t the first thing he thought of when he opened his eyes. You don’t ever get over the loss of someone you spent the majority of your life with. But, you grow stronger, and you learn to deal with it, and cope with it, one day at a time.
There is no magic wand to wave to take away the physical pain of grief. There is no set strategy or way of coping with a broken heart. Every individual is unique and every relationship with the deceased is unique. You think you’re doing fine then POW, a piece of music, or a particular phrase or a tv programme triggers a memory and the emotions all come flooding back. And you feel like you’re back to day one again. But that is the grieving process. And we’ll all deal with it in our own way.
So, ‘they’ say time is a great healer. But who are ‘they’? To me, ‘they’ are someone who has never lost anyone really close to them. ‘They’ are the people who haven’t endured the unbearable loss of one of their nearest or dearest. To me, no amount of time passed can ever heal the huge hole left in your heart by the passing of a loved one.
If there is one thing this role has taught me, death has no preference. You never know what’s round the corner. For each of us there is a time to be born and a time to die. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Today is a gift – that’s why we call it the present. Treasure your time with your loved ones, and never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.
This post has a special meaning for me, as today would have been my dad’s 88th birthday. It’s 16 months since he passed, and no amount of time will ever heal the loss that I feel. My dad was my rock, and I miss him every single day. Today, I’m off to conduct a funeral, then to meet another recently bereaved family. My day will end with a family dinner, where I’ll open a tin of sweetheart stout for my dad (his favourite drink) and think of how lucky I was, to have been his daughter.

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One thought on “Is Time the great healer?

  1. No truer a word has been spoken Karen. I passed westburn bowling green last week where Mum use to bowl and could just picture her there, that set me off. Yes everyday maybe is that tiny bit easier but you never get over the loss. Xx

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