at the kitchen table: time

According to the Alan Parson's Project, "Time Keeps Flowing Like a River (to the Sea)."  Jim Croce wants to "Make Days Last Forever" ("Time in a Bottle"), and Green Day claims "Time grabs you by the wrist/Directs you where to go" ("Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)").  

Me, I think of Time and I think of Flavor Flav and his awesome enormous watch or the neighbor I wanted to punch in the face.

Days after walking out of Children's without Maddy, I had to walk my dog.  I kept my head down and walked fast and prayed I wouldn't run into anyone.  No such luck, a neighbor whose name I didn't know but whose dog I knew quite well walked out of her gate.  "How's the baby?" she asked with a cheerful grin and through a rainstorm of tears, I told her.  Dead, she's quite dead, thanks for asking.

Neighbor looked extremely sympathetic and said . . . well I can't remember now exactly, but one of those platitudes about time.  "It will feel better with time," sounds the most right, but it could've been "Give it time."  In either case, I wanted to fucking clock her in the nose right there on the sidewalk.  There was no amount of time that would ever, ever make me feel better.  I will die a bitter old woman with tears gushing out of my eyes, thank you, pointless neighbor.  I believe I grabbed the dog and without saying a word, kept walking.

Turns out she was right. (Turns out she was also one of the good ones.  She showed up at my door days later with a homemade Greek Tear Jar, and asked Maddy's name so she could think of it when she thought of her, and me.) Time did make me feel better.  Just time, just getting through days, just existing until enough water had gone under the bridge and enough miles had passed from the event to make it just distance enough that . . I felt ok.  Time didn't make it disappear, and I didn't "get over it" on some anniversary, but those big ol' clock hands did some magic.

Time seems to be winding it's way through our corner of the internet of late, so we thought it an appropriate, um, time, to do a kitchen table discussion.   Our answers are here.  Want to join in? Post the questions and your answers on your own blog, link to us here at Glow in the Woods meme-style, and share the link to your post in the comments. If you don't have your own online space, simply post your answers directly in the comments on the Kitchen Table page.


1. How much time has passed since the death of your child(ren)?  Do you mark grief in months, weeks or years? Does it seem to be going fast or slow?  

2. Do you have an end goal to your grief?  How much time do you think that will take?  How much time did you think you'd need to get there right after your loss?  How much time do you think you need now? 

3. Rather than a clear end goal, is there a milestone or marker to indicate that you are feeling grief less acutely, i.e. going to a baby shower, listening to a song that made you cry early in grief, driving past the hospital?  How long did it take to get there?

4. How do you view the time you had with your child, either alive (within or outside) or already deceased?  Before you all answer "Too short! Not enough!", did you have time to "bond" or develop a future imagination about what this child would be like?  Perhaps depending on whether yours was cut short, how do you now feel about the nine-month period of gestation -- too long or not long enough?  

5. One grief book suggested that it took 2-5 years to incorporate your grief into your life.  Where are you on this timeline, and you do you find that to be true?

6. There's a familiar saying, "Time Heals all wounds."  Do you think this is true?  Or do you subscribe to Edna St. Vincent Milay:  "Time does not bring relief, you all have lied"?

7. Has your relationship with the future (immediate and far) changed since the death of your child(ren)?  How about your relationship with the past?

8. How long did it take to answer these questions?