Ally or Thief ?
As we come to the end of 2023 I am reflecting on time and the question is time a thief or an ally?
The honest answer to this question from my perspective is I don’t know.
On the 15th of December I set out on my annual hide away from Christmas: a time that is just too painful, my birthday, our wedding anniversary and then the festive time that personifies family. A time to be with those you love and a time that just accentuates the chasm that remains 10 years after Seth’s death. I can’t be with the person I love because he died 33 short and heart breaking days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Seth loved Christmas that’s why its always so so painful and that why I have “do” Christmas on my terms.
During the two weeks I was away time became much less important there were no meetings, no schedule, no pressures, no need to conform, the clock became irrelevant it was wonderful just to go with the flow of the day.
Eating when hungry, going where I wanted when I wanted, doing things I don’t normally get the time to do painting, sewing, reading, drawing – really badly, walking with Gertie but without the need to get back for a particular time.
The 14 days passed by in a flash and made me really think about time and ponder the thought is time a thief or an ally.
For me, the last two weeks’ time has been an ally, giving me the chance to just be me. However, 10 years ago time was a thief that robbed me of Seth and all our future plans in just 33 days.
I remember in May and June 2014 time had become an emotion rather than a concept, it was no longer a passing of seconds, minutes, hours, and days.
It was raw, visceral, uncontrollable, devastating and involved such a deep sense of sadness which has balanced by a deep gratitude for having the privilege of loving Seth.
These thoughts prompted me to write and use the below as the introduction to Seth’s Story.
“We talk about days all the time.
• Our day will come
• One day at a time
• Day by day
• What a difference a day makes
Days are made up of hours……. hours are made up of minutes…. minutes are made up of seconds……. seconds which tick away.
Time…… Seconds…. Minutes…. Hours… days…. we often don’t pay much attention.
There are life changing events when time becomes very much more important……. Days…. Hours…. Minutes…. Seconds……. Ever more precious.
Especially when you know the love of your life has very few days left to live……… but you don’t know how many.
When this happens, you need to be supported……. you want the best possible for your loved one…. you want to be with people who understand……………you need care……. compassion…. empathy …. A connection to the humanity that everyone possesses.
At end of life there is only one chance to get things right……… time ceases to be a concept …….it becomes a raw and precious emotion.
Emotions connect us ………. they make us human. ……It’s about the understanding of a person or families suffering……. the desire to help…. or in other words compassion.
For 33 short and heart-breaking days in May 2014…. I experienced the deafening sound of the seconds tick away………. minutes raced too quickly into hours…… hours become a series of emotions…. Emotions through which I had to fight and struggle…. The hours allowed our precious days to disappear all too quickly.”
Next year it will be 10 years since Seth died, at the time of his death, I could not even comprehend how I was going to make through the next hour.
Slowly I got through hours which turned into days, days into weeks and months that marked first year and all the first anniversaries.
Since then, years have unfurled at a momentously fast and equally slow rate; time has become my ally helping me to achieve things through Seth’s legacy, but it also continues to be a thief limiting what can be done and causing me to really think about what is most important. Where do I want to spend my time to take advantage of its potential to be an ally and to ensure that time is not taking advantage of its potential to be a thief.
Whether 2023 has seen your year be an ally or a thief or a mixture of both, I wish you the best for 2024 and hope that you will join me to mark the 10th anniversary of Seth’s death.
There will be a series of activities, events, fundraisers, a new charity, and an opportunity to build on Seth’s legacy I suspect that 2024 will let me see time more as an ally than thief.
Watch this space
Whatever it is, Seth Goodburn – I hope you know that I will love you with all of my heart forever.