When I first read this, it deeply resonated with me– so much so, I wrote it in a little notebook I carry and often re-read it when I come across it. It also reminded me of everyone I read in the blogosphere that is struggling.
The women who have been betrayed by their husbands. The women whose husbands have them in limbo. The ones that have lost loved ones. The ones that have been hurt so deeply they can’t imagine they’ll ever be themselves again. The ones fighting tooth and nail because they have lost a job. It reminded me of everyone who questions whether things will ever be ok again. The ones who are bent over with pain. The ones who are limping along right now.
Hurt is universal. It touches us all, but in an endless myriad of ways. Some times, it ensnares us top to bottom, utterly and completely. Some times it surges and recedes only to surge once more. Some times it’s quick and abrupt. No experience of pain, or loss, or suffering, or struggle, or grieving is the same.
Here, when the narrator speaks of “him,” he is referring to his father who got in a time machine one day and vanished without a trace. But the “him” is replaceable with anything, anyone. It can be “him”– a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband, a friend. It can be “her”– a mother, a daughter, a sister, a grandmother, a wife, a best friend. It can be “them”– a group of close friends, a pair of siblings, a pair of children, classmates, band members, co-workers. It can be “it”– a pet, a job, a school, a feeling, an experience, a lifestyle. It doesn’t matter what has hurt you because the truth about time and its relation to pain the author talks about here is universally inevitable.
“I don’t miss him anymore. Most of the time, anyway. I want to. I wish I could but, unfortunately, it’s true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. If you’re not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your pain into experience.”