I was on the Compassionate Friends Facebook page and noticed that someone had posted a question/comment about "time healing all wounds." The reaction from other parents was pretty strong, and quite universal in expressing that time indeed does NOT heal all wounds. I would agree, but I must admit that I will sometimes say to newly bereaved parents that, in time and with hard work, things will likely start to look different for them and that some of the sadness and pain will give way to more positive memories. Does that mean I am suggesting that all their wounds will be healed and they will no longer hurt? It certainly is not what I am trying to say, although I'm guessing some people might interpret it that way.
For me, the question really comes down to, what is healing vs. accepting the new reality? Acceptance, in my book, does not necessarily mean healing, but rather coming to a point where a bereaved person realizes that no amount of sadness, anger, or hopelessness is going to make things different and the process of grieving allows them to start moving forward again.
In other words, it is not TIME itself that helps, but rather what you DO WITH THE TIME. If you curl up in a ball, pull the shades, and let your sadness take over, no days, weeks, or months off the calendar are going help make you feel better. But if you use that grieving time to reflect and express your sadness and anger in a healthy way so the pressure does not become unbearable, life can become worth living again.
Believe me, it is not that I don't understand that sometimes the sadness is so overwhelming it seems completely impossible to ever think of being happy again. But, I also don't believe that we are dishonoring our children and the love we feel for them by allowing ourselves to smile, be happy, and feel hope.
How do you feel about this? What have you done to find some peace -- or haven't you?