Time is probably one of our most precious resources; we never have enough of it. We are always trying to maximize our time. And yet we often waste time scrolling the internet, on social media. We spend most of our time on things that are meaningless in the end. When we lose someone, we often want that time we spent with that person back. We are painfully reminded of all of the time we wasted when they were alive and we would give anything to recuperate those moments lost forever in time. When Ale passed, on that very day, I lost my sense of time ( and I don’t think I have recovered it). Gone are the days that my life is neatly segmented into units of time, slicing my life into manageable measures of the passage of time.
The Ticking Clock and Grief
I remember feeling like I was floating through my days those first weeks. I was liberated from the chains of time and existed outside of time. My friends were still bound by their schedules and their lives that were neatly packaged into segments of time. I remember feeling odd in comparison, alien. All of the sudden, my life was no longer grounded by the passage of time, because time stopped for us on April 7th, 2018. Time as we knew it stopped that day. Our lives obliterated. The ticking of the clock was conspicuously quiet. I remained frozen-still in time. Grief fragments life into before and after.
Learning to be in Time
After the tragedy of Ale’s passing, I am unable to move through time as I did before. Gone are the days of juggling schedules, work, birthdays, anniversaries. I relate to those measures of the passage of time in a different way these days. The inability to move through time has forced me to drastically restructure my life and my relationship to those things that remind me that Ale no longer exists in time and space. Of course, my relationship to time could not be the same after Ale. Our lives were marked by 20 years together. Thankfully, I have learned to be in time without Ale (it hasn’t been easy); he still exists for us of course, but he no longer moves through time with us, which becomes painfully apparent on his birthday or the day he died.
A Miser of Minutes
I have a different relationship to time now. Perhaps I could even say I have a healthier relationship to time. There are days when I can be still and I truly appreciate these precious moments that we have on this earth, which are seconds in the big scheme of things. I have learned to spend my time on people and things that truly matter. I have no time to waste. I do have a sense of urgency at times, but it manifests with the people I love. It originates from a fear that time will run out and I will not be able to tell them how I feel before they are somehow gone without warning. I suppose there is an explanation for that urgency. Overall, I move slower these days. My efforts are often an attempt to save minutes, the hours, the moments that I realize that I will never get back. I have become a miser of minutes, trying to save every last second of a life that no longer exists in time.