Grief and its Relationship with Time

Jan 26, 2013 | Articles, Opinion

“It takes time to heal wounds” is true even if I still don’t like it.

By Marna Cathleen

As the layers unfold in my story of loss and grief I am noticing how the pain calms down and something else begins to happen. Yet, in those awful moments I did not believe it would ever get better.


How feelings come and go

I am learning that a feeling, good or bad, often feels that it will last forever. The only difference between a good feeling experience and bad one is that when the great joy and bliss are happening I usually do not ask the question; “when is this dam bliss going to end?” In fact time stands still in the most beautiful way and I want it to last forever. Yet, when feeling bad I just want it to end and time slows to an agonizing stillness as time ticks by one click at a time. But time is obviously all perception because bliss and joy will end just as certain as pain and suffering will end. It all ends if I just give it time.


Time heals all wounds

I was so angry, sick and tired of hearing people tell me that grief takes time! During a certain period I was living the pain of now and that now was a shit storm of horrific emotional pain turned physical and I was in the middle of it. When I was in the center of the pain, time moved so slowly. Each day became longer than the next and I would dread the dark nights when I would have no choice but to be all alone in the dark with my gut wrenching pain, my empty womb and all of my dreams shattered into tiny little pieces, missing the baby that had been growing in my belly for four months. My body ached its own wordless sorrow. My heart was bleeding from top to bottom into the empty womb that housed and held this little being that I dreamed would be my baby for the rest of my life. She was gone. And I could find no comfort in the repeated words of friends and family “that time heals all wounds.”


The day that time stood still

I will tell you about my worst day. It was right at the end of my first period. I was lying in the back of my car staring at the ocean as the rain pelted the roof of my car. I lay there cold and crying, trying to find some peace in my aching body. An affirmation that might work, a positive outlook that might comfort me, some comfort in the ocean or the in the quiet of the rain, a candle, some incense, maybe a song. But nothing worked, instead all I could feel was a pain so deep that it physically hurt in the core of my body and ached intensely at a depth I didn’t know existed. All I could do was imagine what it would be like to just float gently out of my body into the clouds. I truly wanted to just float away up into the heavens somewhere far away from me, somewhere outside of my body where it didn’t hurt anymore, anywhere but inside of me would be better. Never have I wanted to jump out of my own skin more than I did about a month after Blue was gone. I imagined what it would be like if my heart just stopped beating right then and my body just let go and my spirit could be free to float gently away from the experience of loss and grief. I even tried to will it to happen, imagining it happening. Listening to each heart beat as if it might be the last one. The last beat to free me from the depth of my uncontrollable grief.

In a way I feel that it makes sense that I would want to experience my own death after experiencing the death of my baby Blue. Maybe the entire experience of wanting my own death is connected to the experience of having a baby die inside of me at four months. And to complicate matters her death involved choice. I chose not to birth a child who was sick and would not have had the chance to live a full and pain free life. The choice was hard, I had to walk into the hospital with a live baby knowing that I would leave with an empty womb. She was 18 weeks, her heart was beating when I went into the hospital, then it stopped beating and she floated away and all the pain and suffering that would have been her life, had I chosen to birth her, just disappeared. Instead her life was spared by the loving choice I made to let her go free and I birthed her back into the spirit world.

On that worst day I remember feeling a great relief at the idea of dying, of really letting it all go. I am clear that it was not a suicidal desire, or a bout of self-pity. It was an insight that turned into an inner knowing that death is inevitable for us all. Even my own death in the end is not that big of a deal. A great relief came when I could truly see my life ending knowing that every single person who knows and loves me would be just fine, in the end, if I were gone. I am aware of the simple truth about death and the smallness of all our lives and how paper thin we all really are. We all die, each of will grieve our own tragedies and time will slow to a still point of pain. And then everybody eventually moves on or they don’t. But we all can if we are patient, and it takes patience and a willingness to just ache and then “moving on” comes whenever it comes.

Fortunately for me,the advice that it take time to heal wounds is true even if I didn’t and still do not like it. Yet, I still wonder if there are some wounds that don’t heal, but instead they eventually don’t hurt as much because maybe some wounds are never meant to fully heal? I am not sure. Yet, as time goes by my relationship to the pain of losing Blue is changing. As the layers of the dream get let go of one by one, it is a bit easier each day. Then some days I still just want to lay in bed all day and let the layers engulf me, move through me and teach me what my new life is going to be like. My life is truly new! I am not the same Marna I was before Blue. I know that something in me died with her but I am not sure what it is yet. I also know that something amazing was birthed between her and I and for that I am grateful. Now I am learning how time is healing me and I have a new patience that time heals a little bit at time.


©2013 Marna Cathleen Originally Published at Marna Cathleen & Baby BluePublished here by permission.

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