Does Time Really Heal?

Everyone loves a good platitude when it comes to loss. Everything happens for a reason, there is a silver lining to every cloud, it was meant to be…take your pick. Most of the time platitudes only serve to make the person using them feel better. They fill a gap, an awkward silence, all the while often minimising the thoughts and feelings of those they are directed at. I am no exception. I hate platitudes. I have heard them all and cried after many. However, one platitude, in particular, has stuck in mind…time heals all wounds. It is a saying that I have dismissed frequently. However, it has now been just over a year without Benjamin and I can’t help but wonder, does time really heal the pain?

For me, it’s a hard question to answer. If someone looked at me now versus a year ago they would say yes, definitely time does heal. I used to cry every day. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t even look after myself. Life truly felt hopeless. Now I’m back at work full time, keeping fit and dare I say it living a little. I cry occasionally, I smile a lot and sometimes I even feel happy. So have I progressed? Yes, without a doubt. Has time healed my pain? I’m not so sure.

I don’t feel like a magic wand has been waved and all my pain has been taken away. It is ever-present. I feel it every day. It is inextricably linked with the deep love I have for Benjamin. For as long as I live and he does not, I will always feel this pain. I will always wonder what he would be doing if he were still here. I watch my friends babies who were born around the same time. I see them grow and change. I see them start to walk. I see them do all of the things that Benjamin will never do. And it hurts, it hurts a lot.

But this doesn’t mean that I can’t live life. It doesn’t mean that I can’t be happy again. I just don’t think it is possible for Benjamin’s loss to ever not be painful. I won’t suddenly wake up one day and think it’s ok. The day he died my life changed forever. Along with the great love that I feel for him comes the great pain of living without him. No time can change that.

So do I think that time can heal my pain? No, I don’t. Instead, I think that time can help me to learn to live with my new reality. It can help me to get comfortable with my pain and to accept it as part of my journey. It’s ok that it hurts. It’s ok that it’s painful. That pain won’t disappear but the happiness that you thought was gone will slowly come back and light up your life again.

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

9 thoughts on “Does Time Really Heal?

  1. My son Marcellus was born sleeping April 15th, 2018. It looks like Benjamin is 1 year and 1 day older than mine. I feel so much love and so much pain at the moment. Your message gives me hope. Thank you!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy with us. As I read your post I was astonished at how familiar it sounded. I lost my beautiful perfect son, Hudson, at 36 weeks in 2014. His death was sudden and unexpected, passing away overnight as I slept. I woke and like you had trouble waking him. Then the trip to hospital … well, let’s say the disbelief, shock and pain that followed is something I’m still coming to terms with. It’s been almost four years since and I guess why I’m commenting on this particular post of yours is because I’m trying to grapple with my loss as it appears life around me has moved on. My heart truly breaks for you and every other parent feeling this pain. Reading your story helps me feel a little less alone. So thank you. Benjamin is truly loved.

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    1. Thank you Sarah xx It’s amazing how many of us live with our children in our hearts. A lot of days I still can’t believe what has happened. I can’t believe that he is not here in my arms. I wish Benjamin & Hudson were still here with us, more than anything. It makes no sense that they were taken from us. You are definitely not alone even though it sometimes feels like the loneliest place in the world to be. Sending love xxx

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  3. I can say that 15 years later, time has smoothed out the edges of the pain and I have control now of when I choose to go back to that place in time.

    And when I think of Johnny, I can smile now as I remember his sweet little face.

    Along the way, I have tried to always stay positive which can be difficult at times but it is important to me that my sons memory is made up of more than just pain, he deserves me to remember him with more than just saddness.

    I try to focus on the only time we would ever share together. I remember how good it felt to hold him in my arms and how I actually felt better when I was able to look at him and touch him.

    After 12 hours of labor, listening to heartbeat the whole time, I did not expect to feel the way I felt when I picked him up.

    For me this has been the most important part of “our time” and right now in this moment I can say without a doubt, that I would endure it all again to just be able to hold him for those few hours we had together.

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    1. Jennifer I couldn’t agree more. I could have written every word of what you’ve said. Once we start managing to live with the sadness as part of our lives it gives the love more opportunity to shine through. In some ways with time you can learn to separate the joy of having them in our lives with the tragedy of losing them xx

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  4. I have been wondering whether time truly does heal all wounds. I lost my baby girl at 37 weeks…similar to you, I didn’t feel her in my tummy and then our world changed thereafter.

    My husband said our hearts will mend, with scars, but it will mend and heal eventually. I think it’ll never be fully healED…it’ll always be healING with each day that goes by. We learn to navigate the extreme pain of losing our babies as we encounter new challenges as we live our lives. All while holding on to having brighter days will make the pain bearable. We will feel the light again. I have to believe that with time, I will learn to manage the wound of losing my baby differently so I can continue to live in honour of my baby girl. I will be happy again.

    Stand strong all you mamas… Our babies are looking over us, giving us all their love to slowly mend our broken hearts xoxoxo

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    1. Hi Rei’s Mummy, it’s a crazy journey and definitely gets better or at least more manageable. You’re still so early in your loss. Take your time, be gentle on yourself and let the light start to slowly shine through xxx

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