This came up today on the MISS Foundation forums- our online support groups. Often, in the midst of intense suffering, it is impossible to imagine that this pain will ever end, that life can ever be normal, that the tears will run dry. Some say it is time that heals. Time allows necessary space, a retreat, from that despair of early grief. But I, as usual, see it differently.
My experience, including the most recent emotional upheaval of the past few weeks, has taught me that, for me- and remember that everyone is different, the pain has not weakened. My grief has not been assuaged. I am still grieving deeply, like I was nearly 14 years ago, for my beloved little girl.
But, I believe that I have become stronger.
That is Chey's gift to me. She has strengthened me as a woman, mother, friend, and human being. Slowly at first, but over time, my grief muscles, started to build. Like a new work out routine, my muscles hurt at first, burned with pain, objecting to the new weight I had to carry. But over time, I became stronger and stronger, eventually withstanding weight (obstacles, challenges, and other grief) in my life that she helped prepare me to carry. I prefer that way. I become stronger rather than to merely have the grief become weaker. In this algorithm, there is actually gain, not loss.
I would, of course, give back all my superhuman strength to have her back. But I am more whole and more happy today than I would have been without her in my life.
No, it does not always hurt like this.
It is not how much time has passed, though, that counts. It's what you do with that time.