Time heals what reason cannot. — Seneca

We think in terms of time and much is said about it after a loss. “He was so young to run out of time.” “Her time was up way to soon.” “He was with them such a short time.”

People ask how much time does it take for the pain to be over? When will it ease? How long does it take to feel normal again?

This is the thing about death, the nut of the nut, as a poet once wrote. You will never get over the loss of a child with logical thinking. Your pain can’t be measured in real time as if you were putting a load of clothes in the dryer.

We live in the age of instant texting, emails, and direct calls all over the world in seconds, so it stands to reason we expect a quick fix for our pain and the opposite happens. We are literally forced to slow down and re-live that constant movie of our lives.

Think of a soul as one unbroken line, always continuing, never-ending. Our souls enter this earth-bound world and begin to learn and love. When we have finished, we leave, but it is not the end of everything. Although it is hard to grasp, our child’s lives were not broken and eternally vanished upon death; they have only stopped their earthly time of experiences and have moved on filled with your love and teachings.

That is why it takes such a long road to embrace a loss. At first, we are helpless and cannot think about the future; we only relive the past. Then, by being with people you are drawn to who have experienced the same tragedies, we become stronger and softer empowering ourselves to move slowly forward to help ourselves and then others.

Against all our logical thinking, we must start to understand that we are all spirits in these earthly bodies, here to love and learn with each other. We choose each other for these life lessons. You might have thought that you only had a child-parent relationship but you were actually on a level playing field as two souls that came together to grow.

And grow we did. That is why that sudden departure from each other was so brutal, so unbelievably gut-wrenching. You were meant for each other, so now what happens to all those well-planned lives we were imagining?

They continue but on a different path. You grow in a new way. You become wiser. You have been blessed enough to be given a chance to see and learn what is truly important, that love you shared and the love that continues, is in the now.

Vicky Bates 2011

Vicky Bates

Vicky Bates

After 18 years of marriage and career, we decided to adopt two babies. My oldest had many health issues which after 10 years led to a fatal anaphylactic shock. I believe that my spiritual beliefs helped me understand that the tragedies we face challenge us to confront our pain and slowly work through it. That is what I did through helping with hospice and watching the process of transition for the dying and seeing that even in the hardest times the gentle kindness of humor is a necessary tool.

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