How come when tragedy strikes, we hear the words, “Time heals?” After suffering and recovering from much hardship, time has been both an ally and enemy. Yes, it gifted me the allowance of sharing the moment my father took his last breath and for this I’m grateful but 4 years after his death, the void in my heart hasn’t healed; it’s still as big as the day he died. Each day is another day without him physically. And, time, reflective of each passing calendar day, continuously reminds me of this.

Yes, I’ve been comforted with the belief that when he died, his pain ended. The conviction that we’re spiritual beings living a physical existence with a knowing the soul continues without the body has soothed me. My intuition enables me to feel his presence through nature (breezes, butterflies and sunsets and so on). I’ve developed rituals honoring his name through volunteer work, creativity and with increased compassion for others suffering, this warms my heart.

Although it really has felt like time has smacked me around and kicked me when I was down. Time doesn’t manifest healing; it gifts the opportunity to be in the present moment. This, after loss, is the last place anyone wants to be. The reality of knowing my loved one is no longer physically with me and, will never be, is hard to swallow.

But once this realization is fully processed with mind, body and spirit and I’ve accepted the world without him physically with a choice that I didn’t die, therefore my life must go on, healing begins. I’ve surrendered my life to this realization. Time offers this bridge and once crossed, it is reflective of a choice to live healthy, to feel joy again.

Love heals; it reaches beyond the physical, when this feeling is embraced for oneself, it enables you to surrender and overcome loss. I know my dad would want me to live with joy instead of sorrow. I’m sure your loved one would want the same. If you’re suffering loss utilize time as the bridge to cross when you’re ready to stop holding your breath.

Choose to breathe again, take deep healthy breaths because you want to feel alive. With each breath, you’ll choose life and this will help release and honor the past by living your healthiest life. This is the best way to honor your loved one.

Kathy Williams 2012

Kathryn Williams Raths

I have always had creative threads of inspirations in my life. I can fall into an oil pastel drawing like the average person falls into a good book. It is a grounding process, allowing me to lose myself in my work, lose track of time and escape the pressures of everyday life. Unfortunately, I have not spent much of my life devoting time to my heart's desire; writing and exploring my creative impulses. I'm a single mom first and I've been a full-time employee in the business world for over the past 20 years. I’ve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. I live in the cornfields of Ypsilanti with my 2 sons, who are thirteen and fourteen, and my boyfriend, a wonderful man whom inspires and supports my dreams. During 2008, I had some life-altering experiences which have given me a new perspective and enabled me to reprioritize my responsibilities. I lost my father and my job, both of which I devoted much love and energy to and truly treasured. In the aftermath of my father's death, I reached deep within my core and wrote my book, What Can I Say When Words Escape Me, being present during times of sorrow. I can only hope these words of encouragement and nature photos touch your heart and up lift and hug your soul as they have for me. I currently write for the, Detroit market as a Healthy Living Reporter, I'm grateful for my life's journey thus far and thankful for a nurturing, fulfilling future that enables me to reach out and help others struggling with hardship.

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