Time Doesn’t Heal Grief

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by on June 17, 2016

Time Doesn’t Heal GriefI wrote the following letter to my dad 3 years ago for Lifetime Moms (which doesn’t exist anymore) on the 10-year anniversary of his passing. This letter was such good therapy for me 3 years ago and I realized that I needed to express grief that had been built up in me for so long. There is so much pain in this letter that I held on to for a decade. Writing this helped me heal in many ways. Time still doesn’t heal grief – but finding my voice did allow me to feel more peace.

Since the original article is no longer available, I need to repost this – for my own therapeutic motives, but also because I received so many emails, comments and direct messages from others that had lost parents, or other close loved ones, and appreciated the voice.

This is for you Daddy,  – and all of you that know what it is like to have your world turned upside down and inside out…

Dear Daddy,

It has been 10 13 years since you left this earth and a huge hole was fastened in my heart. I’m not the new blushing newlywed that I was – losing you only 4 months after our wedding made our first year of marriage a turbulent one. Those first few days, weeks, and months were so hard to deal with after your sudden and unexpected death. The grief blinded me and I don’t remember a lot of that time. I’m sure it was a copying mechanism my brain used to help me function through those long days and nights. But we pushed through – you were right to like Ben and bless our marriage. He has been a supportive husband and father. Yes, that is right; you now have 3 beautiful grandkids: 2 boys and a girl. Our oldest even has your namesake.

Yet the past decade has taught me a lot – not just through the masters’ degrees (3 of them!!) I earned – but through understanding that life is not all rosy. I know you wanted to protect me from the evils in life, but the truth is, we can’t keep our children from reality and I got a hard dose of it when you past away.

I’ve also learned that the idea that “time heals all wounds” is a bunch of crap.

Time doesn’t heal – it just helps numb the pain a bit. Grief isn’t like other wounds that heal over time. It just continues to fester and just when you think you are done with the pain, it strikes again. Each birthday, holiday or family event I think of you and how you would have loved to be there with us. But those are just the obvious times. The times that other people may expect me to be still grieving. It is the simple things each day that make it a challenge and remind me that grief is never ending. Like when I hear a classic rock song on the radio, or see a movie I know you would have enjoyed, or see a little girl holding her father’s hand. It is all the times that I would have called you for your advice or just some reassurance on who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m heading.

Even as a professional working mother in her 30s, I’m still your little girl and craving the assurance of your presence. I miss you and I always will because no matter how much time passes, the grief remains.

Lovingly,

Your Little Girl

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