Eleven months since I held him in my arms. Eleven months since the sight of him took my breath away.
Eleven months and a day since our lives were “fine”, “happy”, “normal”, and we were preparing new for a healthy baby boy.
Oh, How one day can change it all…
It baffles me at how 11 months, nearly an entire year of time can pass and yet I can feel continually stuck in this time warp where time passes but has no value, no significance. Where time does not actually heal this pain. Some say it will get better with time, I really don’t know about that statement long-term. I only know that eleven months isn’t enough time to “heal”.
Our culture is built around this concept of time. We go and we come based on a clock. Days pass after 24 hours time. Hours pass through the day. Minutes pass within the hour. Seconds pass as we move through life. Time is our solid foundation. Our reference point. It’s what our culture, our world is built upon.
Perhaps that is why the concept of grief is so hard to be accepted in our culture.
Grief ignores time.
In fact, it often laughs at this concept of time. Hours, days, months… These are not what will heal our broken, scarred, aching hearts.
Time, you see, by itself, will never heal.
Healing will come in God’s timing and in God’s ways. Sometimes His healing does come in time, years most often, from what I hear. But I don’t know that one ever truly heals on this side of heaven after losing be a child in their arms. I don’t know if that’s something that you ever completely stop grieving.
Honestly, I hope not. Because if you stop grieving, it’s almost like you’ve forgotten a little piece of how much of a blessing they were in your life. And forgetting, for me, is not an option. So I hope I always hurt a little on certain anniversary days. Hurt a little when I see his pictures or hear of another mama who has gone through this too. Because the hurt reminds me that he was real. He lived. And that I’m still surviving. Maybe barely, some days, but I’m hanging on. Hurt reminds me that I’m still alive, being his mama even in my grief.
Grieving is like a time warp where days and months, hours and seconds all blend and scatter simultaneously and you move through this time that we are built around, but you don’t process it. You don’t own the time that surrounds you anymore.
Every once in a while you seem to wake up and say “how has it been — weeks, months…?” And then you fall back into to grief zone, where the time-warp continues and you can only focus on healing and living. Hours blend into days and days into months and “life goes on”.
I think the biggest surprise to me on my own grief journey is how “life goes on” but you don’t feel it. You don’t feel your own life that surrounds you. How do you even try to explain that concept to anyone outside do the grief circle? I have yet to figure that out. Thus far, I’ve come to the conclusion that you simply can not understand this, unless you’ve lived it.
Eleven months and one day ago, time made sense. Weeks, days, years, minutes had significance. My life revolved around a clock. We came and went when the clock said to do so.
Eleven months ago, my time warp began. I don’t think I looked at a clock at all for about 2 months. I only loved him, I lived as best I could. Survived may be a more appropriate word. I made it through the painstakingly slow hours and subsequent days, only to find that it was months later when I looked at a clock.
Time no longer played a significant part of my life. Grief replaced time.
I started to heal. It didn’t feel like what I thought “healing” should feel like for a very long time. Many days, it still doesn’t. More days than not it feels like stagnant, event-less “stuck-ness”. Those ahead of me on this journey tell me that this is healing, though it feels anything but that.
I focused on healing myself. Healing my kids. Giving my husband what he needed to heal. Healing our family, though a big chunk of “us” was missing now. The big chunk of our family that once slept safely in my swollen belly, was now gone from this world. And there was nothing we could do to change that.
How do you heal from that?
Here’s what I’ve found- you heal in Gods timing, which so rarely matches with our world’s timing. You heal in your own time warp of grief.
So, there’s a time warp.
You’re still alive. Your still healing. Your still mothering that babe that can only live in your heart. Your still figuring it all out.
You are moving forward dear mama.
“Moving forward”… It’s the last thing you want to do, yet the thing you know you must find a way to do, somehow because it is the only way to ‘get through’ this grief- through forward movement.
We step forward, then backward again. We do this little ‘dance of grief’ that feels anything but joyous. You find your own way through this. I’m convinced that Nobody else’s “way” will ever match yours. Mine will always be different from someone else’s because God works at different times and in different ways in each of our hearts. His timing will control our healing. Here on earth, We can only surround ourselves with what we are aware that we need in order to get through this, and try to find the next step forward in our time warp of grief.
And pray hard that He makes it turn out “alright” one day.
Eleven months ago my life changed. I spiraled into my own time warp called grief. Nobody understands it. I don’t know how I’ve gotten here. More often than not the words “stuck”, “lost”, “confused”, “painfully healing” could define me. God is moving but I am still learning to move with Him. I am still learning how to “move on” and not feel like I am leaving my Philip behind. I still cringe at triggers that inevitably lie everywhere. I can’t look at babies, and my skin crawls to the point of me jumping out of it if I hear an infant cry. I become livid when I hear pregnant or new mamas with healthy babies complain. I really want to slap them sometimes (tell me I am not alone…) and tell them to be thankful that their child is alive! I still have trouble going into places that only remind me of my son. And every month on the day he passed away, my world shatters again. It may be the only day of the month that I am regularly aware of, to be honest.
I tell you this to prove that I am still working on it, eleven months out. Maybe you’re ahead of me and could tell me if it gets better. Maybe you’re just starting this journey, and you wonder if it will ever get better. Maybe you’re saddened to hear that I’m not “done grieving” (as the world would like) yet, eleven months out. But somehow, grief over my son somehow feels like loving him. Grieving his life that was cut so short means I’m remembering him, loving him, and still, in a way, being a mama to him.
And that, to me, is totally worth it- Even if it means living in a time warp.
So, dear mama if your live in this “grief time warp” as well, welcome to the club.