I hated it when people would say that to me. What does that mean? Is that supposed to be of comfort?
“It’s just going to take time.”
What else is time going to take? Will time take my sorrow away? Will time make everything better? Or will time take what is left of me and leave me walking the ruins of time in the weight of what was and in the shadows of what is?
Through time I have watched what time takes. But I have also watched what time gives. I have seen how time was both the blessing and the curse.
Time gave me moments, immeasurable moments of tenderness, love and breathtaking beauty. I had the opportunity to experience life, bound by time, wrapped in the embrace of the ones I love. Time was a treasured gift.
The unfolding of my grief, and leaning into my sorrow has transformed the gift that was into the gift that is. I needed to segue yesterday’s love into today. I had to find a way to hurt in time, heal in time and hold both the hurt and healing at the same time, in the same time.
This was not easy for me. I traveled through intense pain and I could see no healing embedded in the anguish. Loss made no sense and the pain of loss seemed the most senseless. The hurt was so deep.
I’m not sure what he meant, but what I heard was that I had to make peace with time and the distance was not how far I could get away from the pain. The distance was how deep could I go into the pain.
All I wanted when they were alive was to go the distance. I wanted to be fully present until the presence of time took us apart. I wanted to lean into love, holding nothing back. I wanted to stand in the fullness of me, in all its’ fragility, and in the fullness of each moment. I just wanted to go as far as I could, as long as I could, into the precipice of life and death. I just wanted to go the distance.
When my friend said, “It’s just going to take time and distance,” I knew distance. I had already stepped into the emptiness of time’s distance. I had been going as deep into the hurt as I could bear. That afternoon over coffee, his words landed me in the painful reality that there was further to travel. I wanted the pain to stop, but realized I could not stop until the pain had taken me all the way into the distance.
Distance needs time as much as time needs distance. Sorrow has no temporal measurement. There are no clocks in the world of the Afterloss, but I have found great distances unfolding layer after layer where loss leans into life and life embraces loss.
There is no task greater for me than to find and live in peace. Peace is not the absence of pain and loss. Peace is holding the pain and loss in love. Peace is not an either/or. Peace is a both/and. I can miss them and hurt in not being able to hold them and I can be at peace in missing them and longing for their presence.
Healing for me is finding peace. And it has taken its toll to go the distance in that quest. There are so many things I had to let go of in this pursuit of peace. I had to let of what the world thinks is important. Material success became immaterial. I did not want to rise to the top. I wanted to descend into the depths.
It hurts so deep because deep calls to deep. Emptiness became my guide in the interior of my Afterloss. It guided me to the fullness of my pain, and the core of my peace.
One of the many things Lydia said to me in the brevity of our last days was that the greatest testimony to our love was for me to love again. One of my greatest testimonies to life is to live in its fullness. I was given the fullest love possible with the ones I will always love. To live to the fullest is a testament to their lives and all they mean to me.
To live fully, I must go deep into the distance, into the timelessness of time. Yes, it is just going to take time, but without going the distance, time has no meaning, no purpose. Time and distance has brought me to peace, to you and to the world I live in its fullness. I could not be here otherwise.