Who Said Time Heals All Wounds?

March 6th. Eleven years to the day our son left this world to live in a better place … heaven. In these past 11 years, my emotions have been tried on every level. They have been tattered and torn and ripped to shreds on any given day. Only to rebound and be restored on any given day. Loss beats you up. You don’t just cry. You weep. Sometimes you don’t even recognize yourself. You become a stranger.

I thought by now it would be so much better. I think I bought into the idea that time really does heal all wounds. I think it’s something people say because that’s all they know to make you feel better. But how can you ever feel better when a big part of your life has been removed?

As a Christian, I know that this sorrow only lasts a short time and joy will come in the morning. But I so wish that the morning would hurry. And I know that I’m not supposed to mourn and grieve like other people do, those who do not believe…who don’t know that heaven awaits. Jesus awaits. My Brandon awaits. I feel like I have failed God by grieving the way I have grieved. Is there any other way?

In the past 11 years I have written about this same subject… time. It’s hard to define. It seems like a ton of weight I am dragging behind me on some days. And then there are those days that God, in his mercy, gives me a peace that is beyond my understanding. I just never know what day I’m going to get.

I have had this blog long enough that I run the risk of probably repeating myself. Perhaps there are new readers looking for answers in their raw grief like I did in the beginning. I only wish I could tell them that “time heals all wounds.” What I can say is time is a two-edged sword. It can be sharp and swift or dull and dragging.

Throughout my day, I think of Brandon. I never know what age he will be. It’s like the dreams I had in the beginning of my loss. But those dreams are now few and far between. Brandon would come to me in my dreams at every stage in his life from a towheaded 2 year old to a brawny athlete in high school and everything in between.

I may be one of those very few mothers who actually enjoyed doing the laundry of my little guy who spent afternoons practicing Little League football in the fall. His clothes would be dirty and sweaty with a little boy smell. Grass stains and torn jerseys. I loved it. I loved buying shin guards and mouth guards. Whatever was needed I was the first in line to buy it. It was fun being the mother to a little boy. That feeling didn’t change even in the older years of high school football. I loved when my son and his friends would cut up and tussle and wrestle in the front yard being boys… big boys but still with childlike boyishness. Stomping through the house making noise, raiding the refrigerator and pantry, eating whatever was on hand, and making up their own recipes. I miss being the mother to Brandon Heath.


While time does indeed soften the blow of loss, I can attest to this: “the more you love, the more you grieve.” It is a truth that bears repeating. All of us have a different clock for our grieving. The different phases will come and go but we will always feel our losses deeply. No calendar or clock can ease the longing and anticipation of a promised heavenly reunion either. Time is the great equalizer of both grief and joy. But I still can’t say with all sincerity that “Time heals all wounds.”

For Brandon

Knowing you’re in Heaven,                                                                                                                                                                          somehow doesn’t ease this pain
when you are there and I am here
the distance is the same.

When the calendar marks the day you left
the same time every year,
just the time I thought it gone
my heart yields still more tears.

This mother’s love persists
to deepen all the more,
even in your absence
a peace has been restored.

Knowing this sorrow is but a moment                                                                                                                                                                     in God’s time.
I am eager for our reunion
when joy will again be mine.

Love,
Mom

 

10 comments

  1. Hi Dale, Selling and relocating has made me tardy in sending you acknowledgment of this, Brandon’s heavenly birthday, for that I apologize! I think complicated grief is the hardest to extricate oneself from. I envision someone trying to free themself from an all-enveloping, goo-like substance. Trying to punch their way through yet bouncing back within it again and again, as it’s rubbery, causing one to rebound backwards with force. Someday we’ll all be set free. No more struggles, then. Maranatha!! Love, Donna

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    • Dear Donna, I undestand completely as we sold and moved exactly a year ago. It is something I hope never to do again. But….” never say never.”
      Please know that because I tried to post using my Android and it did not upload the full article. I will try again later, using my pc. and when my great grand has gone home. I watch him during the day. This post ends rather abruptly, making any writing skills I may possess look rather shabby. As for this “grieving goo”….I long for the day I am truly free. Love and Brandon bear hugs, my Sista in Christ.

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  2. The priest at Philip’s wake said that they say time heals all wounds but it’s not true. You mentioned not recognizing yourself at times – that’s what I feel like. I’m so tired of missing him. I used to take comfort in writing but the words won’t come. Glad you posted – wishing you love and peace of mind.

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    • I agree, Donna. Time does not take it all away. it leaves scars. Writing is therapeutic and served a much needed outlet for my agonizing sorrow. Now, it seems I echo my pain too often. as if there has been no reprieve. But of course, there has. I think our suffering comes from the obvious….”missing them.” They cannot be returned but with all of my heart I know as a Believer, we will be together again forever. Hold on to your faith and know our time is shorter here than we can possibly imagine. It just seems too long when all we do is anticipate being with our boys again. God bless you friend. And keep writing. I like reading your posts.

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  3. I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote “While time does indeed soften the blow of loss…”. For me, sometimes it feels like just a few days ago when my dad put a gun under his chin. Completely different from losing a son, I know, but you get my point. Anyway… I hope you can stay strong and your faith continues to help you cope. And if you do lose your strength for a time, remember that having moments of weakness is part of being human, that which God created.

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    • Andy, I am so very sorry that you have endured the loss of your father to suicide. As if death were not enough but to have the complicated grief suicide presents is unlike any other. May God’s grace be sufficient for us and also our loved ones. Take care, friend. Thank you for your comment.

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