grief in time

A dear friend of mine shared an article with me recently about the concept of time when faced with the inevitability of death. Tragically the author had been diagnosed with cancer and died just a few weeks after the article was printed. 

Beautifully written and poignant, it struck a chord on how Chris and I view time since we lost Eddie.

Time is the strangest concept in grief. Time used to mean so many things: planning our future or reminicising about our past, time away to have a break, time to ourselves, time for other people, time for a change, give it time, haven’t got the time. And so on…

Time, in its essence, indefinitely moves us forward. As we approach Eddie’s first anniversary, society and some religions dictate that the year of grieving is over. It’s time to get on with our lives. 

We feel far away from these societal expectations and still find ourselves navigating through the murky waters of grief. We have lost our first and only child. Not only are we grieving Eddie, we are also grieving our lost identities. We were once parents. We are parents. And we try to channel our need to continue to parent Eddie into everything we do and keep his spirit burning brightly.

Life ebbs and flows with time, punctuated by the very highs and the very lows. We have been shown how, without warning, life can take the cruellest of turns. Such is the severity of the loss of a child that it is almost impossible to believe that life will indeed take a turn for the better.  We cling to hope but this lifts and falters from one day to the next. 

Time, for us, is a dichotomy. It moves us forward but we are stuck in transition. In no man’s land. As time moves on, it has become our friend and also our enemy. Yes, we have more coping mechanisms but it has not lessened our pain or our longing for our darling boy. And what we want most from time is an impossibility. You can’t fast forward, or press pause, and you can’t rewind. 


10 responses to “grief in time

  • shyn43

    I Just want to briefly express my view in a poem.
    It’s called the invisible Thief.
    There Is a person,
    somewhere out there,
    it steals from us without a care.
    merciless and cruel,
    it does not sleep,
    our lives relentlessly it does seek.
    to take from us Joy and Laughter,
    and replace with misery forever after.
    it can’t be found
    it can’t be Judged,
    against us all it bears a grudge.

    its the father of all tears
    its also the father of our greatest fears.
    The Only Person able and willing to stop the enemy’s relentless Killing,
    Is the son of God Jesus Christ,
    The Bible say’s he was always Nice.

    He resurrected Lazarus,
    and many Others Too,
    I’m Totally Convinced He’ll do the same for You.
    He’ll convict The Thief and Judge it harshly,
    and release all it’s prisoners without Treating them harshly.
    The Thief He’ll do to it what its done to us
    in Jesus Loving care you can Trust.
    There will come a Day,
    I’m totally convinced That Death itself will be a convict.
    and from the prison it locks us in
    It itself will be put in.
    the keys itself will be thrown away,
    thief called Death will see its day
    That Is the day We will all Rejoice.
    sing out loud with all our voices,
    in thanks to our god that heard our voices.
    he paid the ransom on our behalf
    so that one day we might laugh
    when we see the thief called death convicted at last!!!!

    I hope my poem provides comfort and hope.
    Best wishes from Trevor


  • Sheehan

    Thank you for your honest words. I have read your blog and i love how you honor Eddie. Our first and only son Jacob died in April 2014. He died at seven days old and your description of time has been spot on.
    Your words are appreciated


  • kaitlynva

    What a beautiful post. I so relate… The pain never truly lessens. Thank you for sharing.


  • kaitlynva

    Reblogged this on Wrapped Up In Parentheses and commented:
    I’ve struggled to express in words how I felt with the anniversaries of the onset of Sacha’s illness (and my illness), followed by Sacha’s birth and death. The truth is that the anniversaries felt so much worse than the actual events. This year, I lived through those dates – for the first time – with the knowledge that death is enormous and endless, and with the perspective of hindsight to reveal errors that were made in my and Sacha’s care. I lived through those dates without the barriers of confidence, innocence and shock. Without holding my baby in my belly or in my arms.

    The anniversaries were brutal – even more so than I had imagined – and I’m so thankful to friends and family who reached out to me on those days and shared remembrances of Sacha’s life in beautiful ways. This post from Eddie’s mom closely reflects my experience of time as it relates to grief. The pain hasn’t actually lessened (though I have grown and strengthened in ways that allow me to bear it more easily).

    Another mother recently posted on the approaching anniversaries related to her stillborn son, several years after his birth. She wonders if she could have saved him, inevitably, as she wonders every year. Then she concludes that, truth be told, since his death she has lived every day trying to save him in some way – every single day.

    I do the same. Every day.


  • Helen

    Jen, Chris, beautiful Eddie & your family, there are no words that I can offer that will make your loss any easier or bring you any real comfort. I just want to let you know that you are all in my thoughts as the 1st anniversary approaches. Sending you love and strength xxx


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