Time does not heal

Come November Daniel will be gone three years. If I were to think of the past three years in terms of days and hours it would seem like a long time, so much has happened. Yet when I look at his photo I cannot believe it. It seems like only yesterday we worried about his lack of energy and only a moment ago when we heard he had leukemia. Sometimes, out of the blue I freeze as I remember waking to the news. In that moment it is as shocking as if it were just happening all over again.

Imagine what it must be like for his mum and dad?

The other day Dan’s mum and I were chatting about grief and time. My friend is amazing, getting on with her everyday, coming out with us and despite her pain, making the most of life. As a result there are many who think ‘wow she is doing so well.’ Because they do not see her eyes red, her hair a mess and she sitting at home depressed, I think they genuinely believe she is ‘getting over’ Daniel dying.

How ridiculous is that? How can you ever, as long as you live, even for a moment, forget you held your dying child in your arms. How can you ever call your children for dinner and not see the empty chair at the table, or pass his empty bedroom last thing at night and not ache?

Tonight I just wanted to remind all who read this, to look at those around  them who mourn, regardless of the time since their loss. To photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin ccappreciate the effort they make each and every day, just to get by. For behind their smiles is a massive effort. When people grieve time goes by a different beat. While the days, months and years may pass, grief remains. So don’t expect them to get over it, for they never will, despite the mask of normality they wear. Instead help them. The last thing they want is for their loved one to be gone, so do not be afraid to mention them, laugh at memories or remember how sad it is they are missing out.

As my buddy and I were chatting about missing Daniel and the hole in her world forever, I remembered a poem I knew which I felt perfectly spoke of how grief is always there. How excruciating it is and the fact that there is no getting away from it. I’ll share it here now in the hope it may bring comfort to those who grieve and understanding for those who do not.

For the families and friends of Daniel (13)  Ben (6) and those recently bereaved by the loss of my cousin Anne.

“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied”


Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

photo credit: Matt Preston via photopin cc
photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

12 thoughts on “Time does not heal

  1. Three years? It still seems to ‘new’ to me. And I only know him and his family through your words Tric.

    Grief is all around and I wouldn’t for one minute expect another human being to ‘get over’ loss. I would hope for them to develop a way to live on with that loss. To find joy and happiness, and be okay with feeling those things.

    The poem was beautiful.

  2. Beautifully said, Tric.
    I think everyone has their own way of dealing with each loss.
    I agree with you about time not healing in itself. So much depends what we do with the time. Loss is so inextricsbly linked to love.

  3. I just can’t imagine dealing with such loss. It is beyond grief to me. I marvel how those who are faced with this do their best to cope. It is amazing what we can do when we are placed in these situations. But I get that just because people seem to be coping doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Or that they actually are coping. My thoughts and prayers to all. xx

    1. Thank you. I see my friend most days and see her pain at times, but even I cannot ever truly imagine it.
      Being about her is a real reminder that life is precious, and of course that we don’t ever really know what is behind a smile.

  4. Well said tric, this is so true. Parents who have lost a child never ever heal, the pain is forever intense but yes we wear our masks because society is not able to face the loss of a child, everyone’s worst fear so we as grieving parents have to cover up to help them to accept us once more.

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