“Time is a healer, you will be okay.” This was a common phrase when our daughter first died. Time was going to make everything okay, everything better. I waited and watched. Having spent a little over five weeks, waiting and clock watching it only seemed that this was what I was meant to be doing after she died.
It was said so much, it must have been right – surely?
The days leading up to her birth I was in the hospital, clock watching for visiting times, for doctors rounds, waiting for bedtime, waiting for the next blood pressure test. One day I had been given ten days until her early arrival; so I was watching and waiting for that.
Then three days later we were told it wouldn’t be 10 days it would instead be in three minutes. Time seemed to stand still as I waited for my husband to return, as we waited to be wheeled into theatre. The time seemed to drag slowly, whilst everyone was moving at speed the clocks seemed to stay still, or at least until we heard her first squeak.
When time returned to normal passing; at least until the next time, we heard an update. Everything in her life became centred on time – nappy cares feeds, pumps, expressing, bus timetables, school times, visiting times, and cuddle times. The time ruled every part of our life.
Then all of this stopped, it disappeared when she died, but the clocks carried on ticking, the hands kept moving, the days turned to nights and then to weeks. Time moved forward as I stood still. It confused me; we had gone from a reasonably strict regime to almost nothing. Now it was wondering what time we’d get visitors or messages. We were waiting to speak to the florist, the undertaker. Waiting for the time to visit her one last time, to kiss her that final moment; for Friday 13th April when her funeral came and went.
“Time is a healer.”
Maybe it is; but is it really? As time moves forward, people may talk about their loss less than less; doesn’t always mean that the griever is healed – but maybe it is because we stop being listened to, or the need to bring them up brings guilt for hurting other’s hearts.
The more the time ticks by, the further away I am from seeing her, from remembering special bits about her.
Her time stood still.