For anyone who is grieving, the nuances of time become even greater. In essence, after a death, your world feels as if it has stopped. Yet, the rest of the world moves at a cut throat rate – running late to meetings, making plans for dinner, plans for vacation. It is as if you are paralyzed and can not move while the rest of the world goes on. It doesn’t seem fair. All of those activities which were once so important, no longer have the same value.
Grief warps our view of time.
A death can feel as if it happened forever ago and the next day feel as if it just happened.
Today I pass what some thinks is a magical threshold of one year since my Mom’s death. There is nothing special about this fact other than it has been a year. 365 days since she was here on this earth. As I used to share with my grief clients, you are still grieving on Day 1 of Year 2 without them. I know that is true for me
We so often mark our lives by the calendar that I feel it becomes easy to feel that each year is simply placed upon the other. As if we are repeating the school calendar years of our youth. We mark time with the change of seasons and easily refer to “last winter” and “a typical summer.” By doing this, I think we forget to realize that time is truly linear. We are not repeating last winter and this spring and summer will be different than before.
As adults, we do not measure our growth from year to year. None of us have a door frame with marks of where we were this time last year. It would be nice if we could do that. If we allow ourselves, we can grow with our grief. One past client referred to her grief changes as “Good growth.” I am different and better (or so I think) than I was a year ago.
Yes, with the passage of time, wounds begin to heal, pain will hopefully diminish. But to say this without acknowledging that grief takes work is being dishonest. Grief is not something that you simply allow to passively occur. One must take action to work through the difficulties, make changes as needed. Healing can only occur if the environment is right to allow as much. It takes work to let go of anger, hurt and pain. Holding on to it does no one any good.
Time is short.
A year passes quickly enough when regular life is going on. In a blink there is the passing of a week, a month a year. For a grieving individual, the passing of a year can appear to have been nothing more than a moment. I do not know where this year has gone.
Your Time is not my time
Grief does not come with a time line, only variables of what may be. I often feel as if I have accomplished nothing over the past year and then must remind myself that I have not stopped. I haven’t stopped the doing of caring for an estate, assisting my aunt with my Nanny’s estate and then attempting to “develop some normal” again. A year doesn’t bring an end to any of that. I will need to be where I am with my grief for as long as I need to be.
Time will come…..
My personal history with loss provides me with the knowledge that there will come a time when these losses have become assimilated into my story – chapters of my life. There will be scars and I will be stronger for what I have gone through.
Time moves on – it waits for no one.
I trust in the universe that I can make use of the time I have been given (whether it is 5 years of 50) and that I will not waste this precious time I have been given.
That will be my tribute to those who have gone before me.
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest