Myth of Time

The passage of time used to be heard in the clocks that filled rooms… the tick… tick… tick.. of the second hand as it made its way around the circle of numbers. Or the chiming of the grandfather clock that declared another hour had passed. Now, time silently slips by without those auditory reminders. Yet, it is felt with each beat of my heart.

Yesterday I was given a truth that dispels the oft used phrased, “Time heals all wounds.” Time does not heal all wounds, I was told. Hearing those words from a man who a few years ago buried his wife of many decades was much needed, because it lifted the weight of expectation from my shoulders. He called it myth one of grieving.

Time… every second of every day reminds me of a void that will never be filled. I awake with her, I carry her throughout the day, I fall asleep with her. There is no analogy that can be used to describe the ache that is felt in every fiber of my being with her absence. Images flood my mind, songs fill my ears, flashbacks brings me to my knees.

Death is a part of life, but her death brought more than just a physical absence. It is the death of all the plans we had. It is the death of the name she had already selected for her little girl that is no longer to be. It is the death of a part of me that will be never be brought back to life. It is the death of hope because time is no more for her, for us, for our family.

If an analogy is to be used, I suppose it is like a category six hurricane. Suicide is really a “stops-you-in-c(s)ide” type of death. It is assumed or accepted that it is just that moment, when the truth is it is all the moments that led to that one event. For us, it was 14 years of moments, 14 years of being in a hurricane. In the aftermath, even though the sun eventually shines and the ski clears, the carnage is there. The physical pieces are picked up, but the internal pieces are still scattered to the ends of the earth. How do I describe this? How am I to respond when the words of a supposed loved one are spoken, “You are not the only one to lose someone.” Those words alone minimize, reduce the carnage to a bag of trash that needs only to be tossed into the bin and taken to the dump. Then it will be okay. How do I explain to that person how devastating those words are and how they sever any ties that bind? How do I describe that suicide is not like other deaths? How do I describe finding our daughter, the person I carried for nine months, gave birth to, nursed, cared for, watched take her first steps, and all the moments between birth and finding her lifeless body in our home? How do I describe that I am angry with her, yet I love her and understand? How do I describe the feeling of not doing enough even if that defies reality?

The proverbial, “be strong.” I know not what that means either. How do I explain to those who have perceived me one way that I am not that at all? How do I describe the heart-crushing pain that exists in every part of me, and strength is an illusive ghost? How do I describe that when asked, “How are you?” I want to scream, because while the word “okay” forms, I really just want to cry, but the perception of strength must remain? How do I explain I am not okay and I do not know if I ever will be okay again?

How do I describe the roller-coaster of emotions. Just when I think I am going to be okay… a wave knocks me down, leaving me struggling to get back up, and then the times when I don’t want to get back up, that I really just want to let the waves consume me? How do I describe that only our son keeps me going? It is not a crisis of faith, because I know where our daughter is; it is a crisis of pain. There’s a difference.

How do I describe that time does not heal all wounds, and how grateful I am for the person who told me it really is just a myth?

How do I put into words that all I really want is just a hug, one hug… time… the passage of time… how do I explain that I really do not know just where this road of time will take me? This is not eloquent, it is not meant to be; nor is it meant to elicit responses. Time… it is not forever; while it continues, it does stop for each of us. I was not prepared for her time to so violently end, but I suppose no one is ever truly prepared when that moment in time enters the door of the heart.

Garden of Memories

Mad Hatter: “In the gardens of memory, in the palace of dreams, that is where you and I will meet.”

Alice: “But a dream isn’t reality.”

Mad Hatter: “Who’s to say which is which?”

Alice Through the Looking Glass

“We meet everyday in the gardens of my memories.”

“I enjoy our time together among the sunflowers.”

“I watched a documentary the other night. I felt as if I was watching our, your, story.”

“Will you share?”

“Of course, but first remember your words, ‘It’s like everyone is seeing how I’ve been feeling this entire time on the inside of my body cause now its affecting the outside of my body. I’ve been falling to pieces for years inside and now everyone can see what I’ve always been feeling. It sucks.’ Remember?”

“I do.”

“In this documentary, a man was describing his story of childhood trauma and finally getting the help he needed. He finally found a doctor who stopped labeling him. The doctor told him, “You are this way because of something that happened to you. You have a story that’s not been diagnosed.” He was told the labels didn’t make sense, trauma victims blame themselves, and the arch enemy, the fiend is the truth, but your reality is not allowed to be seen and to be known, and that is the true trauma. I cried because he was describing you. So many memories flooded back. Memories of desperately searching for someone, anyone, who would stop labeling you, who would see you, listen to you, help you heal. Then the words that it’s not mental illness but mental injury…”

“You okay?”

“No, not really. I thought there was time, I thought we’d have time…”

“It’s okay now, momma.”

“Yes and no. A friend said to me, “God answered your prayer to heal her, just not in the way you wanted.” A hug, your hug… just one hug… you always said I gave the best hugs, but really it was you who gave the best hugs. I miss your hugs most of all because they were so complete, so full of unconditional love.”

“We shall hug again…”

“I know, my precious daughter. You weren’t mentally ill, your were mentally injured. Doctors who prescribed drugs only hurt you more because those drugs didn’t help you, they hurt you more by altering your mind. I wish I could go back… I would tell that first doctor to go to hell. I’m sorry I trusted him, a doctor who didn’t care about you in a system that cared even less. I’m so sorry.”

“Momma…”

“I know, how could I know? It doesn’t really help though when I’m trapped in the garden of memories.”

“Momma?”

“Yes?”

“Remember?”

“Remember??”

“I sent you a picture with the words, “God is restoring everything the enemy has stolen!” I wrote, “You know those days where you think God forgot you and you can feel the pain crushing you and then something catches your eye cause it’s not in the ordinary of your things? I read this the other day during one of those moments and I think it’s great. 🙂 I hope it helps you too.” God has restored to me everything the enemy stole because I’m whole now. It’s His promise to you as well. I love you momma.”

“I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond.”

“I love you more.”

“I love you the most.”

“I loved you first.”

“You are missed, my darling. You were never a burden, by the way. A thousand bad days with you are better than a perfect day without you.”

“I’m still with you…”

Darkness in the Sun

“I love the sun,” said the young woman.

“As do I,” said the young’s woman mother.

“I turn my face toward the sun to feel its warmth.” said the young woman.

“As do I. People probably think me stuck up, but when I go outside, I always turn my face upward toward the sun,” replied the young woman’s mother.

“I agree. But mom…”

“Yes, my daughter?”

“The darkness never leaves.”

“Please explain, my darling.”

“The mind… my mind… the darkness is overwhelming.”

“What kind of darkness?”

“It’s not the darkness of night that is vanquished with the rising sun. This darkness is different.”

“How so?”

“Sometimes it creeps in unexpectedly; other times, it crashes in like a tsunami, destroying any remnants of peace and my grasp on sanity becomes hard to hold onto with the force of it.”

“I don’t know what to say. Is there anything I can do?”

“No.”

“Tell me more then; maybe it will help if you talk about it.”

“It isn’t a place of compromise. I surrender every time or it’ll strike me harder otherwise.”

“I can’t imagine.”

“Sometimes… sometimes…” words accompanied by a single tear.

“Yes?”

“You’re the perfect victim. Call me crazy, but for you I empathize. With each and every blow, I sigh, saying I’m sorry for how you feel inside.”

“Who is saying those words?”

“The part of me that is tired… I’m trying… trying to shake it… trying to control it… trying to eradicate it… I’m tired.”

Silence… a hug.

“Even though it haunts me, I’ll make it out ’cause I live a nightmare.”

Silence…

“Waking in my dreams, looking for someone to hold. I’m told, “I’m sorry for how you feel inside. I’ll pray for you tonight.” I’m tired.”

“Does it ever end?”

“No. I’m outwardly free, but inwardly a prisoner of my own mind.”

“The sun brings warmth?”

“Yes, but I’m fading like a flower…”

Hug tighter.

“I love you, stay with me,” whispered in the young ear.

“I love you too, I’ll always be with you,” whispered in the old ear.