Time – “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarding a whole. “
Time is a misunderstood yet simple concept. We rush time but then we beg for time to slow down. We pass our days by keeping busy with work or school, but when we lay our heads down at night we wonder where our days went. We reflect on our birthdays, comparing each year to the last. We celebrate new years by setting hopes and goals for the future 365 days. We watch the snowfall and can’t wait for the sun to come, but the sun shines and we are ready for fall again. Seasons keep changing, days keeps passing, and we are still only just amongst the “time.”
Eight years ago today, I lost my father. May 9, 2005. I remember exactly how the day went and I am sure I will never forget a moment of that day for the rest of my life. Every year around the beginning of May, I swear my mind and body can recall those feelings from 2005 and I can’t help but be overcome with grief. The date itself has always reminded me of that time in my life. The sadness I felt, the anger I built up, the regrets that I had, and the refusal to accept my loss.
It’s just a date. It will come every year and the way I felt on that day will never change. I am not sure if it is just culturally or a worldly commonality, but we hold the significance of dates very close to our hearts – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or just a day that something important happened. We reflect on what happened the previous year and try to predict the hopes for the following year. Some dates make us happy and remind us of a precious memory. Other dates raise sadness or anger in our hearts of inescapable memories.
We tend to measure our progress in life by weighing the change in our lives over a year. I blinked, and here I am eight years later. I have had difficulties grasping the concept of time regarding the loss of my father. I was always saying things like, “I can’t believe it’s been 5 years. (Now 8).” A lot of that shock was the fact that I was not happy with where I was at with my grief. I have taken a long, windy road through grief. Many detours, pit-stops, and bumps in that road, and time never once stopped for me. Sometimes I’ve felt like things were happening so fast, yet at other times the days couldn’t pass quickly enough. In reality, time was passing all the same. Second by second, minute by minute, day by day, and year by year. I have come to realize time and grief do not merge at any point. Like oil and vinegar, they associate, but they never mix.
My best friend recently just lost her dad as well. It has been a little over a month since he passed. I have tried to relate/compare to understand more – one month verses eight years. But it never makes sense to compare the concept of time with the concept of loss. Time does not make the hole in your heart shrink, or grow for that matter. People always say, “time will heal all.” But sometimes I think time is our enemy, at least the meaning we have placed on time. The thing that time does allow us to do is gain knowledge and experience. It allows us to search for peace and to find ourselves. However, time has no accountability if you decide not to use it wisely. That is the difference between eight years and one month in time; it all depends on how you use it.
I woke up today feeling great. I looked at the calendar and the date didn’t bother me. The hole in my heart didn’t feel any bigger than it has been the past 8 years. If anything, I feel content with it. Of course my heart feels a little heavier but I know May 9th will always make me feel that way. This year I have decided to not measure anything by the time that has passed since my dad passed away. Although it is ironic because I have never been so sure how short life is, I sometimes think time is just an illusion in our minds. I will never let time define how far I have come or who I am.
Besides the significance we place on certain dates, I can say we do take time for granted. We watch the sunrise slowly and it set even quicker. We set an early alarm but toss and turn in our beds late at night. We are accustomed to passing time with technology. It is rare if we let time move us, instead we move time. Dr. Seuss said it perfectly, “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? “
As the definition of time states, time is a continued progress of events in the past, present, and future as a whole. What happened in time 8 years ago connects to my time one month ago, and 3 weeks from now. Although time will never stop for us, we have every bit of control over time. We cannot allow time to define us, but we also cannot take time for granted. The hands will always turn at the same speed, no matter how fast or slow we are living.