Time does not heal all wounds. In fact, I suspect that time does not heal wounds at all. What time gives, however, is an opportunity for a broader perspective. To take in the joys and pleasures of life, rather than leaving us to focus solely on the sadness of our losses.
A while back, a friend of mine had to attend several funerals, within a few months of losing a close family member herself. All that grieving in just a few months is pretty rough on anyone.
I saw she was down and I emailed her to ask how she was holding up. She mentioned that most days were fine, but that particular day had been hard to handle, and she just had to struggle to get through the day.
She knew that I could relate, after losing my father the previous year. I emailed her back: “I had those days often last year, and sometimes since then. You get to a place where all the sad feelings become happy memories, for the most part, and you can be grateful for what you’ve had with people, even though you still miss being with them.”
The movie, “Shadowlands”, highlights the love and loss of C.S. Lewis, author of “The Chronicles of Narnia”. In the film, Lewis (Anthony Hopkins) gradually falls in love with an American woman named Joy Gresham (Debra Winger), whom he later marries. Sadly, Joy doesn’t have many years to live, due to cancer, but they determine to make the most of the time they have together.
At one point, Joy tries to speak with him about her eventual death. Lewis doesn’t want to discuss the painful subject, but she tells him that they must. “The pain then is part of the joy now,” she insists.
Later, at her graveside, Lewis reflects on her words to him. Though he misses Joy badly, he can look back on their life together with appreciation and peace. “The pain now is part of the joy then,” he observes. He doesn’t deny or belittle his own pain, but he remembers the pleasure of having experienced a wonderful relationship with someone. And though that person is gone, what he and Joy shared will remai n with him forever.
When we lose someone, it hurts to know all the things that we’ll never be able to do with them again, or for the first time. It hurts that we’ll never see their face or hear their unique laugh again. But we can be grateful for the time we shared with them, and make the most of our time with other family and friends. And although the sadness will never truly leave us, we can look forward to new days of peace and happiness.
Time does not heal all wounds. But life – with all its joys, sorrows and surprise – does go on.
Find more reviews of “Shadowlands” at amazon.com!
Thursday, September 30th, 2010