A blink + an eternity: death, time, and change

time passingIn just under a month, Matt will have been dead for seven years.

How insane is that? I don’t know how that happened. It’s been a lifetime since he was here. I can close my eyes and bring him back to me as though our life never stopped. Both things are true.

I’ve lived every single second of these 6 years and 11 months. They were excruciatingly long. They flew by. Both things are true.

When someone sends me a note to say the one they love died 6 weeks ago, or 6 months, or two years, I always say – it’s both a blink and an eternity, isn’t it. They’ve been gone forever, and they were just right here.

In my early days, I dreaded time passing. My biggest fear was not that I would always be in so much pain, but that I one day wouldn’t be. How could I ever be anything but destroyed? If I could come back from this, something this huge, how could anything in the world ever seem important or real again?

It took about 3 1/2 years before my own timeline felt like it started to move forward. It wasn’t horrifying, as I had feared. Moving forward in my life was not moving away from Matt, or from the life we shared. Life moved forward, and I carried him with me. Not in the ways I wanted to, but in the ways I could.

It is neither good nor bad. It’s just what is. Quite simply, no matter how much I hate it, he died, and I did not. I can’t place a qualifier on the way time has changed me. I could no more stop time from inching forward than I could hold him back when the river swept him away.

Time will always have its way.

If you’re in that place where you feel instantly nauseous even thinking about a life without this pain that is evidence of love, please don’t worry. If you’re somewhere past those days, but life has not yet begun to move forward with you, please don’t worry. Life will unfold, and with it, your heart will find its own rhythm. It can’t be forced, and it also can’t be stopped.

Time will speed by, and time will stammer and stall. Both things are true. Your heart will find its own way. I can’t tell you any more than that. Only time will tell what this life becomes for you.

Staying true to yourself, holding fiercely to your own heart, your own core – these are the things that will guide you. One weird minute at a time.


grief support that doesn't suckIf you’ve had moments of feeling you can survive this, did that freak you out? Are you ever worried that your loss will recede into the background, like some far away dream that never happened? If time has started again for you, what has that been like? Let us know in the comments.