Friday, October 18, 2013

Time is Cruel

"Time heals all wounds." "It will get better with time."

I've heard these words about the passage of time numerous times since Dustin died. In a way they are true because certainly I don't cry as often as I used to, I'm not caught as unawares by triggering events or words or songs or whatever. And when these things do happen, I've learned better how to deal with them so they are not as disruptive and upsetting (for the most part). But what has surprised me is the resistance I feel to allowing time to be a good thing. 

The first happiest day of my life: 11/11/82
What is more important to us than our own child? How can I even conceive of wanting to be healed of missing him, of mourning the loss of his life not only for me and others, but for him? The thought of allowing it to "get better with time" fills me with guilt because the only way I can imagine that happening is if he becomes less important to me. I can never let my child become less important to me! What kind of mother would I be?

So the passing of time fills me with dread. What it really means to me is that it is just that much longer that I haven't seen him, talked to him, heard him say "I love you, Mom." It just increases the distance between us and at times, like now, it makes me wonder how I can survive how agonizing that is. He isn't just on a trip or living across the country or even the world; I can't contact him in any way. There are just nothing but memories and pictures anymore.

Maybe time makes some things easier; I've experienced that myself. But now, time has never seemed more cruel.


  1. There is more than memories and pictures, look at all that you've accomplished. Your son was lucky to have a mother like you. He would be incredibly proud of you.

  2. Kristi, it is heartbreaking to know that you will survive, and throughout your life without Dustin in it, continue to grieve. The experience of losing a child is not something any of us want to go through. It is always believed we will leave this world first, and naturally so, before our children. Being robbed of this order, and how Dustin was taken from you, seems unorthodox, and yes, even cruel. He, indeed, had an incredible mother he shared his incredible life and strength with.

    It is not guilt for you to feel in going on living. The solace of "time heals" is only a natural state of grieving and processing as you become stronger over time. It is not that you have forgotten him, or that he is less important to you. Yes, it does mean more time has passed; more time since you've seen, spoken, or even hugged him. And, yes, your anguish is far worse than any kind of flesh wound, because it doesn't go away, ever. But, please know, just as time does not stand still, we are also meant to go forward in it. We are equipped with memories so our loved ones are never forgotten. And as you live, you will continue to remember those treasured times, and smile with warmth and love over them---good feelings.

    Healed over time? No. No amount of time actually "heals" you. It just lends a hand in the processing of loss. If you had to stay in the same measure of agony for any suspended length of time, it would not be healthy for your mind or body to continue to cope with. It is my hope that time will give you the growing strength you need to continue, and with your son held close in your memories.