As a grieving parent, one of the worst things you hear is “Time is a great healer” or “In time, you will heal.” Let’s call those phrases what they are – BULLSHIT. I’ve been traveling this road for six years and a lot of things have changed – but, the pain is the same, sharp, breath-taking ache that it’s always been.
BUT, as time has gone on, there have been moments of happiness – moments I never thought I would experience again. When they told us we would be moving to Europe, all I saw was an escape – an escape from the expectations of friends and family. I thought I would lay on the sofa and wallow in my grief without judgment. But, that’s not what happened…
I began to wake up. Without watchful eyes on me, I got outside – I explored – I spent a day people-watching on the tube – I walked the museums – I found a sunny spot in the park and laid in the grass with my dog and a book….I started to feel alive again…little by little.
Then I did more – I made a list of places I would like to see – I joined a women’s group – I began to go on walking tours – I found the library…and, through it all, I began to fall in love with the city and see there was more to life.
I saw beauty…I saw possibility, where I had seen nothing. I began to think of filling my days rather than counting them. I planned trips – I made a bucket list….everyday, I meditated and found something to be grateful for…some days, it was a struggle.
But, that bucket list…that was it for me…that got me going…
So, no, time will not heal you…but, you can learn to live with the pain. You can search for cracks of light – you CAN find one thing to be grateful for everyday. It all begins with getting out of bed. Take three of four deep breaths. And, then, you’ll decide if you can face the day. You won’t always be successful. And, that’s okay. I did as much healing in my bed, under the covers as I did getting up early in this journey. But, other days, you will get up, you will see something beautiful and you will accomplish something (getting up can certainly be an accomplishment!).
If you look for reasons to not give up, you will find them. If you look for reasons to give up, sadly, you will find those, too. Grief is not easy – there is no right way to grieve – but, the greater the love, the greater the grief – don’t give up.