Time heals they say but does it really or do you just get old and tired of the crying, the nonsense or the wounding?
Time they said… Time will heal all wounds but they lied…” ―
Sometimes You Just Have To Take The Prick
For years, I would not go to a dentist or a doctor willing. My first time in that chair was not pleasant. My resistance to seeing any of these professionals has much to do with a terrible experience I had as a child.
A supposed routine vaccination turned out to be the ‘prick’ that birth my fear of injections. Until my mid-life, I reacted violently to a medical professional with a needle. Should a doctor say an injection was required, my urgent question was whether the doctor could not give me the stuff to drink instead!
It was not until my 52nd birthday that my running from needles ended. The time came to grow up. It was the moment of my first mammogram. The idea was not a thrilling one. If there was a way to drink or eat something instead, believe me, I would have.
A Time For Everything
But there is a season for everything. You grow up and grow out and let go. That came to me quietly yet forcibly one day in 2005 as I sat in the chapel of a hospital.
Since that day, that realisation has repeatedly visited me. The recent murder of my husband (July 2020) brought that home to me yet again. A reminder that at every stage we have to face what life brings at that moment, including sickness and death.
One Day At A Funeral
Saturdays are either relaxing or hectic with all the errands. These days, Saturdays are not my favourite day. For some though it can be in between.
While many were at work or had the pleasure to be out shopping or simply relaxing, I spent one Saturday morning in 2005 at a memorial service. At the time, my chaplaincy training was going at full steam. Attendance was not mandatory. There were no extra points for being a ‘good student’. Once my Teaching Supervisor told us about her quarterly memorial services for those who made their transition at the hospital – I knew I would be there.
She asked me to do a reading. However, she did not tell me beforehand about the passage to be read. It was not until I was standing at the podium about to read that the personal significance of the words hit me.
For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2
My then-partner who strangely enough decided to attend the service with me asked, “You teared up, I thought you wouldn’t make it through. What happened?”
See, the chapel was full with the families of those who had passed away in the recent months. I made eye contact with a particular woman and my heart melted. She and I had spoken for quite some time when I called to invite her to the service. Though I was simply a voice on the phone, she felt comfortable telling me how painful life had been since her loved one passed.
Time Often Does Not Heal
People don’t understand how hard it is for me when they say such things like ‘you poor woman, you lost your husband’,” she told me.
Feeling the depth of her wounds, I tried to soothe her by offering that people were not intentionally being unkind. “They are simply at a loss for words and expressing concern for how they think you might be feeling.”
We talked for a while longer and ringing off, she said she would try to come to the service.
Slipping into the chapel as we made the final preparation for service, she sat to the rear. As I passed by, I noticed her shoulders softly shuddering. Somehow I knew she was the woman on the telephone. Nonintrusive, I sat beside her and it seems she immediately recognised me. We held hands as she continued to cry. “It has been so hard for me,” she said tearfully. “Yesterday would have been our fifty-fifth anniversary and it was so hard.”
How Will You Remember?
Her words were on loop in my head as I read that passage. It was hard not to think about my own life and how will I be remembered.
Even today, with the recent death of my husband, that thought is more so on my mind.
My thoughts centre on whether those who may sit in a similar service remembering my life could say; “She lived life to the fullest right to the end.”
In this ‘horrid’ year of a global pandemic and so many losing loved ones, and my own personal tragic loss of my husband, these questions come up again:
- “Am I living in such a way that enhances the lives of others?”
- “Am I living in such a way that when I die my grandchildren will remember me with joy?”
Terry Cole-Whittaker, in her book “What You Think of Me is None of My Business,” wrote this about relationships and their ending, whether through divorce, breakup or death:
To say ‘good-bye’ to a relationship you must first have said ‘hello’ . . . You must have loved that other person, released him, allowed him to be who he was and who he was not.”
Release And Let Go
Read those words back in 2005 or thereabout and they gave me comfort then and more so today.
Time does not heal wounds. We simply age, learn more and get better at saying goodbye. We learn how to let go.
No longer am I afraid of having mammograms done or injecting every night with insulin. Time passed, I learned more about the procedure (and it has improved) and the benefit of taking a needle.
Through that powerful lesson learned back in 2005, I am in a much better place to say good-bye to someone, something or even a wish today. The hope is that you too will understand that time will pass and you will get better, know more and find peace.
Enjoy the rest of your Saturday. Do check out our social media profiles, especially Facebook and Instagram where will present Sunday Spirit each week. Did you see last week’s? Watch on our Youtube channel.
By the way, can you spare a few dollars towards our Student Data Grant? We would greatly appreciate it.
Peace and Love