“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” – Cassandra Clare
I don’t really know much about grief, but I know one thing – the source of it can never be finite. It stays with you till your last breath. It haunts even the deadliest of your nightmares and makes you choke yourself by taking every ounce of oxygen away from your lungs. It leaves you devoid of every alternative. You just oscillate between your reality and dreams, unable to find an absolution in either of them. Grief is anything but finite and that is what makes time such a subjective parameter.
“Time heals everything – even the deepest of wounds.”
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I have found people saying this to each other every now and then. It took a while to understand how wrong they were about time. Since the source of grief is infinite, not even something as strong as time can heal it. We get stuck in it for the rest of our lives. It is like as if someone has put a bullet in your chest and leaving it in the middle of your heart. You are not quite dead, but you are not able to live as well. You just go through every notion of your life with that deadly bullet in your chest. You see people around you laughing and having the time of their lives, while you find it hard to even move a single inch.
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You lose control. Your anger or sadness does not drive you anymore. It is your grief that has a complete control over your mind and body. You know you can’t get up or take the bullet out of your heart. One bad move and your entire body can bleed out to death. Afraid of putting that bullet out and terrified to get back on your feet, you don’t do anything at all. You just let time pass you by and try to make the best out of it. You stay stationary and let everything around you come to you. You see them walking and dancing around you. After a while, you just wither into anonymity with that bullet in your chest. From something to nothing, you move from being whole to just a figment of someone’s memory. And that is it. That is the only way time heals all wounds.
It is not a medicine or a bandage. It can’t magically cure your wounds. It takes your pain away but with a very strong price – the whole of you. Your wounds would be healed only when you take your last breath. Till then, they keep reminding you of the things you have lost in your past. They would let you know about your mistakes and how foolishly you let this world take away every bit of you. Piece by piece, they took away a part of you and you didn’t even realize. Sadly, all you can do now is just grieve about it. That is all what you are left with.
Sometimes, grieving is our only alternative.
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When I was a kid, I once fell from a tree and broke my hand. I swear, never in those past twelve years I felt such an excruciating pain. After when the doctors put it together and plastered my hand, I asked my mother about it.
“Why me? Why did it happen to me?”
“Sometimes, things just happen. You can’t figure it out like that!” she answered as she tucked me in and started to brush my hair.
“But why me?” I asked her again, gazing at the midnight blue sky.
“Because you are strong enough to feel this pain. God never gives us the kind of pain we can’t qualify.”
“Will it get better?”
“Of course, it would. Give time some time. Time heals all wounds if you allow it to.”
Now, I know how big that “if” can be. As I grew old, I realized that I would rather take a broken bone than a broken heart. It took me a while to understand that maybe, my mother wasn’t that right. I have lost almost everything… everyone in my life. Now, when I look back it seems like as my entire life was nothing but a series of goodbyes. She told me that God never gives us the kind of pain we can’t handle. He always gives us the amount of grief that we can surpass. But that’s not right. Sometimes, it can take an entire lifetime to get over a few things.
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They told me love conquers all, but it doesn’t. Sometimes, no matter how passionately you love someone, they can leave you in the blink of an eye. There are times when your loved ones can meet the finality of death. They can simply leave your life without even saying a goodbye. All you can do is simply live with that unfinished goodbye. Sometimes, you don’t get an absolution in life. Without getting a closure, you are not able to move on. You just get stuck in time itself.
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No one should ever underestimate the power of a goodbye. Too often, life doesn’t let us bid farewell to our loved ones. We need to let go of them unwillingly and that creates a bottomless hole in our heart. We remain filled with vacuum for the rest of our lives. We are often left with nothing – absolutely nothing. We imagine the presence of those who are gone and keep them alive in our memory. Every time we think of them, we shed a tear. We cry a river and even something as powerful as time falls out of luck. No one can really give a consolation to someone who is inconsolable.
Every time something bad happens to me, I think of what my mother told me.
“Take it one step at a time. Be a brave boy. It happens for a reason. Think of the bigger picture. Give time some time.”
I can’t. I can’t give it any more time. I have given my entire life and still feel this hole inside me. It keeps expanding with every passing day. No matter what I do or where I go, it never changes. I feel like I’m moving in slow motion. Like I’m moving in slow motion and everyone around me is moving way too fast. They want me to do something, to react, to get up, to smile, to forget what happened, and pretend as if life is a pretty spectacular thing. But I can’t. I can’t be this person that everyone around me expects me to be. I don’t know who this person is anymore. Time has not healed me; it has taken away who I’m in the process of it. And I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe but I’m still alive and I just don’t know if something like this is possible or not – but it is. It so damn is.
If time heals all wounds, then why don’t I feel better? I feel like a walking funeral of all those lives that I’m just not living. I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and I can fall anytime. I can’t pretend that I’m not sad. I have given time enough time to take this pain away. With every passing day, it only excruciates the pain instead. Every time I think of the people I have lost in my life, I cry. Why can’t it get better? It is supposed to get better, right? I know I’m not supposed to feel this broken my whole life, except that I’m. Maybe, time doesn’t exist or maybe, we all have gotten a wrong perception of it.
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When I think of it all, I guess time is not as powerful as we think of it. Maybe, time is not moving at all. We all say that time moves at a different pace for different people. We know how tricky it can be. Sometimes, passing a few minutes without the one we love can be a herculean task. Sometimes, even years pass us by without letting us know their presence. Maybe, time does not move at a different pace for different pace. Maybe, it has simply forgotten to move. Or maybe, just maybe, time was never meant to move like this.
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Maybe, time is a stationary element. It never moves. It is we who are moving. Time has always been there. But we… we keep moving at our own pace, which makes time such a big fat joke. They say time heals, but it doesn’t. You know why? Because it is not supposed to heal anything at all. It is just there, right in front of us. It is stagnant. We keep circling around it, hoping to catch it, but it can’t be attained just like that! It is too good for us. We blame it for messing things up. We curse it for playing games with us. But in reality, time doesn’t do anything at all. It is all us. We become the creator of our own catastrophe.
Time doesn’t heal because it is not supposed to heal. Only you can heal your wounds or wear them all over your body like battle wounds. And it is all up to you. In or out, with or without, moving or stationary.
Happy or sad.
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