Opinion

How Time Heals

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The phrase “time heals” has always been a bit controversial. Does the passing of time itself heal our physical or emotional wounds? Not always.

I feel as though that phrase is thrown at grieving people without further explanation too easily, as if letting time pass will bring back our loved ones. Although the phrase may seem cliché and unrealistic, there is actually a lot of truth that comes from it once you dig deeper into the meaning of the phrase. Cassandra Clare stated that, ” They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of grief is finite.” I think this is an important thing to remember the you hear the phrase “time heals” because even after a person goes through all the stages of grief, their healing process can make them go backwards in their stages.

Sometimes healing from emotional loss is ugly and confusing. When grieving, sometimes we will be stuck on a certain stage for years, or even skip stages and have to go back to them later. The thing about “healing” is that there isn’t a deadline given to you. You don’t get to decide when you’re done being in pain from your loss. If you were, then we probably wouldn’t have stages of grief in the first place. There is an infinite amount of variables that can contribute to our healing process: our relationship with the lost loved one, how they passed, and even how the people who are grieving with you handle it themselves. 

I am lucky to have the relationship with my family that I do. Growing up with no siblings meant that my next closest relationship I would have to people around my age was with my cousins. Having a family that I am so close with is a blessing, but when a member is lost it feels as though that blessing turns into a curse. My cousin passed away almost two years ago, days after my eighteenth birthday. No one should have a loved one ripped away that soon, but my family and I had to face it anyway.

Her death shattered my family into tiny, separate pieces. Each member of my family handled their grief in different ways. I believe that when people grieve, they do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Time is flexible when it comes to how long we grieve and what we do to pass the grieving stages. Everyone who loses a loved one is different. Some who is grieving the loss of a family member may give differently than someone who lost a friend they weren’t that close with.

I’m not going to lie and say that time has fully healed my family. Time is much more complex than what people make it out to be. Time forces you to think, to take action on emotions whether you like it or not. There is no way to avoid what time wants you to eventually face. 

As time goes on, the wound that was made by our pain and grief will be relieved at the end of our emotional and confusing road to recovery. Although it has left a scar, time has healed us so that we no longer are in pain. Instead of grieving, we celebrate her life and all the memories that were left for my family and I. I feel that time heals us by giving people the right amount of time to go through the stages and the coping mechanisms, so that we as people can learn how to handle their emotions.

 I used to think the phrase “time heals” was a very cliche thing people said. But after dealing with a moment that left my family with nothing but time, I learned that it may be one of the only thing that keeps people going and helps people deal with their losses. Life may have a deadline, but time certainly does not.

By Georgia Walters, Activist Writer

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