A few years ago, a good friend gave me this advice, “Time heals all wounds, eventually.” I don’t remember the context it was given in, but that simple sentence always stuck with me.
On May 18, 2017, that advice became one of the most important lessons I’ve received in my life. On that day, I got news that my 14-year-old basset hound, Daisy Mae, passed away. At that time, I was finishing my fourth semester, balancing an on-campus job, 15 credits and a social life, and that news devastated me.
I remember skipping class and sleeping all day, calling friends and family and crying until there were no tears left. Instead of looking forward to going home at the end of the semester like everyone else, I completely dreaded the day I’d get on a plane and fly back to a home without my best friend.
People who know me know that Daisy was my life. Every phone call home would involve me asking how she was doing, and receiving new pictures of her from my mom every other day was commonplace.
I would tell my friends about how I could hear her howling when she was lonely, or how I would share my ice cream with her every night. I gave her eye drops every day and got drool all over my hands, but I was never grossed out because I loved her too much to care.
Daisy saw me grow up from a scared little 5-year-old girl who hid from her behind a cardboard box on the stairs to a 19-year-old, dog-obsessed art student.
The grieving process was long and difficult, and I felt like it would never end. I started getting frustrated with myself after a week because I was still crying myself to sleep every night, and I couldn’t figure out why. My friends and family had moved on, so why couldn’t I?
We need to have patience when getting through tough times, whether it’s an ended relationship, getting rejected on a project you worked hard on or losing someone you love.
Sometimes we’re so blinded by the shock and pain of a situation that we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel even though it’s there. When we’re patient with ourselves, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow as individuals and have a deeper understanding of why these things happen.
It took me five months to finally be able to say I was OK after losing Daisy. I had to finish the semester, live at home for the summer without her there and go back to school only to finally figure out that life goes on. And as life goes on, our pain gradually fades away.
There’s no set amount of time that it takes to get through these things, and it’ll never be the same for anyone. When we can stop focusing on the time and just let the mourning take its course, finding our way through the grief and pain will come sooner, and maybe even a little bit easier.
Time heals our wounds, we just have to be patient.