My wife and I lost our daughter at full term in the last throes of labour to stillbirth. It was the darkest time of my life.
Over the coming months we’d hear the phrase “time heals”. It doesn’t.
How would it? We lost our daughter. She’ll be 4 this year. I still miss her. My heart still yearns for her. I still cry for her.
Time won’t ever heal this hole in our lives. It shouldn’t either.
Time can heal cuts and pains, so those cuts go away and you don’t think of them again. But the loss of our daughter? Time will remind us over and over again that she’s not here. Her first Christmas, first birthday, the birth of our son, our family coming together for a group photo, when she was supposed to join school. Over and over and over.
Time gave us room to grow stronger. And not quickly, in that “you’re so strong” way. But slowly. Over many many months and many years.
As time goes on, I started to accept this hole in my life as part of my life.
Time didn’t heal me, but I was able to begin to bear the weight of her loss. Just like going to the gym and lifting weights, I’d gained the strength, but it’s taken a long, long time. And I’m not healed. I never will be. I’m just able to carry more.
You just get stronger. You have to.
It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt anymore. It does. I’m just able to carry that pain and make it mine and part of me, because I’ve learnt how to.
Time doesn’t heal. It just looks that way from the outside in.