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.