Is the old adage, 'time is a healer,' factual or just a load of old rubbish?
I'm not sure.
Sometimes it seems like time has made things easier but it hasn't really, I don't think. It's just that time adds so much more to your load to think about that you have less time to process other things. That's my theory.
My Mother died 4 years ago. For the first six months afterwards my life was something of a blur. I don't think it hurt as much in those first six months as it does today. I think I miss her more now than I did then. Don't get me wrong, I don't spend my days dwelling and I'm certainly not depressed. I've so much good in my life that it helps me to maintain perspective. But there's not a single night that I don't think of her before I go to sleep and there isn't a single morning I don't wake up wishing it was all just a bad dream. But during the day, I rarely think of it. My day is a buzz of business and Fathering and it's only in the quiet moments that things begin to sting. 4 years. It doesn't hurt less. The wound isn't healed.
Then just over 6 months ago my son's Mother died. She and I were no longer together at that time - hadn't been for years. But he was only 5 at the time. When my Mother died I had the benefit of 24 years behind me and at least a little experience of dealing with life altering events. He was 5. How do you process that at 5?
The answer - better than most. I don't know what it is about children but they're so much more resilient than we give them credit for. Time isn't healing him, though. It's no easier to talk to him about it today than it was to tell him it had happened in the first place. But the one thing time is doing for him is giving him the space he needs to process the happy memories and learn how to deal. Time has taught him that he can choose a special place where he can go to talk to her. Time is teaching him that it's alright if he feels upset sometimes and time is working wonders for his ability to discuss it.
But there isn't a night he doesn't go sleep thinking of her and there isn't a morning he doesn't wake up wishing it was all just a bad dream.
And then there's relationships. The end of relationships, no matter how they end, is always awash with friends telling you, "time will make you feel better."
Yes.... but only on the surface.
What I think really is a healer is perspective and balance. Whenever I feel down about anything I'll scribble down on a piece of paper everything good in my life
- My beautiful son.
- My incredible sister.
- My beautiful nephew.
- My closest friends.
- The fact I have a comfortable lifestyle.
- The fact that I live in a democracy.
- Did I mention my beautiful son?
So it's the good things in life that are the healers, not time...