Reflections of Time – The long and the short

Reflections of time – The long and the short!

April 4th 2017

I hated hearing “Time heals all wounds” back in the beginning. I almost felt indignant about this phrase when the cards poured into my mailbox in the weeks, months following Rehtaeh’s death.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the love I received and continue to receive but the comments like “cherish your memories” caused a reaction within.  I felt the internal dialogue “Time will not heal this wound! Don’t you get it? This is MY child! She was my world!” I was offended at the very thought that time would heal this wound. In reality I didn’t want time to heal this one. I was gonna keep this one front and center.  I hated time! I hated time with every fiber of my being. I didn’t want another day to pass and be further from the day I last hugged her. I was terrified of time.  I still have a “thing” with time.

I understood the concept that time heals. I have had my share of pain and loss-loss of relationships, loss of dreams and  loss of my loved ones. Time was a friend in many ways during these difficulties. Time allowed me to process and function again. Time also hardened my heart in many ways.Time has been a great teacher to me as well. I found myself reflecting and finding  wisdom on my path before Rehtaeh left .

On April 4th 2013 I was faced with time once again. Me and time staring each other down. The clock was ticking in a loud persistent manner.

It started with the Dr in the emergency room – “we don’t know if she can come back from this. Only time will tell if she will make it through this. We have to wait” Tick tock went the clock. Those next three days seems like a blur of activity of people coming and going yet time seemed to stand still. I don’t even recall saying goodbye to my child for the very last time. I try to access that memory but it’s just not there.

Rehtaeh was pronounced dead waiting for recipients to be ready to receive her organs.  Me and time were definitely not friends during those days. I struggled desperately to understand that she was “gone” but they could not perform the necessary procedures for a few days. I felt I betrayed her -leaving her behind in the hospital to wait for the “right time”. I still struggle with that one after all this time.

Here I sit reflecting once again about time and wondering how could it be that I survived four years without Rehtaeh in my life. As soon as April arrived my breathing changed. My body felt constricted. My insides screamend “I don’t want to mark ANOTHER year”. Please! I begged time to leave me alone. Go Away!  I feel so broken!

I often hear from people who say I inspire them! I found that hard to grasp in so many ways. Maybe I’m a fraud? Maybe I am reflecting something I am not?  How could I possibly be inspiring when I often  feel so completely broken?

Last night I sat down with time and we chatted again. I invited time to sit with me awhile. Let’s put some of our differences aside and reflect shall we?

The last four years have been the most difficult of my life without a doubt. I sometimes wallowed in my pain . I often sat immobilized in grief. I felt anger and profound sadness. I invited grief to come a little closer. I wanted to know my grief on a deep intimate level. I am now inviting time to take a walk with me. I Invited my enemy in to view it from a new lens.

People are absolutely correct that time has so much to offer. Maybe when we lose our child time is not our friend but time certainly allows for processing if we chose to go there. It certainly is OUR choice. However, it takes A LOT of emotional work. We have to honour time and see it for what it truly is –unwrapping our pain in all its ugliness and beauty.

It’s in the unwrapping of all that emotion that time becomes something we truly need in our life. I am so thankful that I took the “time” to do this. I have worked so hard and for the first time this week I see time as a gift –if only for this reason alone . I have been climbing my emotional Mt Everest for four years and I see the success. I see the progress! I love myself for that. My fortitude to stay committed to loving myself has been outstanding. Time allowed me to see my own beauty. I have learned so much and have shared so much of my pain and courage. Maybe others saw this when I did not?

I would NEVER been able to do that before I lost my child. Being vulnerable was not my forte’.

My heart has expanded so much in the past four years.  I have more love not less.

I have more compassion –not less.

Sharing my pain has helped me become more connected to the truth of who I am.

I embody this physical self but that is not who I am.

My pain has taught me that to show up in the world authentically I must embrace all parts of me

I am strong and I am broken!

I am so grateful for my pain and the blessings that showed up for me on my journey.

Time has given me this space

I do have a question for time. Why were you not there for Rehtaeh? I wish she had more time ….

Time is a gift but we never know when our time on earth will come to an end.

Today looking back on my last conversations with Rehtaeh on this day four years ago time seems like yesterday. It all feels so close!

Awww time – I think we will have a love/hate relationship for the remainder of my time here.

4 thoughts on “Reflections of Time – The long and the short

  1. Tour words are an inspiration to everyone that reads this. Time is not always our friend, likewise it is not always our foe. Thank you for sharing your inner most thoughts. You are definitely a different person today than you were four years ago. Rehtaeh must have been a remarkable young lady. I know she was deeply loved. May peace be with you. Susan

  2. Just like your grief, your strength is immeasurable. Your willingness to push forward, even as you take the time – you invite it – to look back. I too have a complicated relationship with time, and so your words resonated so, as does your vulnerability and love, your indignance and reflection. Thank you for your courage and sharing, for ensuring that this world’s loss – your loss – of your beautiful child has, and will continue, to do incredible things. My work is about sexual violence, and your Daughter inspires my activism and relentless challenge, as does the perseverance of her extraordinary parents. Wishing you as much peace and love as is possible. xo

    1. Thank you for sharing. Im so glad to hear that Rehtaeh inspires you. she has always inspired me too. 🙂

  3. This post is so poignant I could not contain my tears. I as a mother tried to imagine what your nightmare would be like, but it is still unimaginable. You managed to convey your inner grief of which you appear to express as to inadvertently help in your healing. The eternal love of your dear daughter is and always shall be unwavering and strong, which is one thing time can never reduce. “Time is neither friend nor enemy it’s just a measurement.” ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

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