June 8, 2022
This fact is countercultural in many ways. Let me explain.
All too often in the face of loss, other well meaning supporters make the statement, “You’ll feel better in time” or “Time heals all wounds.”
On the surface, this makes sense, particularly given the fact that time can heal certain wounds. Physical scrapes and bruises heal in time, even without significant medical intervention. Our bodies are powerful machines that, with time, make their way back to a sense of harmony.
And don’t get me wrong. The passage of time can help soften the hard edges prevalent throughout the grief process. I can say that nearly 10 years past my mom’s untimely death, the deep ache in my heart has dulled to some degree.
At the same time, I think about the things I’ve done with (and in) time to allow me to be in a less agitated and sensitive place.
It’s what you do in time that makes a difference.
So of course, the burning question is WHAT DO I DO? It’s a question I pondered on the heels of my mom’s death. And even now, after experiencing additional losses, I return to that question.
Doing so reminds me that the process of grieving is active and intentional, even on the days I wish this truth wasn’t so. Time, coupled with the work of grief, can yield healthier physical and psychological outcomes.
Of course, there are a multitude of ways to help yourself beyond those mentioned here.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of talking with hundreds of grieving hearts. What’s broken my heart the most as a grief professional, however, is witnessing some forget that time isn’t a cure for loss.
Time is simply time. 24 hours in a day. 7 days in a week. 4 weeks in a month. 12 months in a year.
While difficult, I challenge you to explore how you might engage grief. How you might gently sit with it and consider how you might work alongside it. Your intentionality, in time, may result in an increased ability to not only survive grief, but also thrive in the midst of it.
Feel free to share your thoughts below.
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