Someone finally said it to me.

“Time heals all wounds.”

This October, it will be five years since we’ve lost Sophia. It took five years for someone to say those words to me.

I guess the words were inevitable. And maybe there is something about the five-year mark that makes people say them.

At the five-year mark, people have grown weary from hearing about life’s past traumas.

“We all have traumas and we learn to deal with them,” someone says.

At the five-year mark, people think the memories have faded, the nightmares over.

“Post traumatic stress disorder,” they say, “well, that should pass.”

At the five-year mark, people want coping skills to be in place and therapy to be complete.

“Why don’t you cut back on your medication and just see what happens?” another suggests.

And sometimes, the words are too harsh for a vulnerable heart.

“You cannot just ride on the coattails of your tragedy.”

I cannot expect people to understand what it is like to lose a child. I cannot claim to be the only one to have ever lost a loved one or to have gone through something difficult. I can’t fault people for not understanding this. And I can’t fault them for wanting me to “be better.”

But how do you explain to people what it’s like to send your First Grader off to school knowing that there should be a Kindergartener next to her?

How do you convey the irrational terror that takes over your body when your child is out of your sight…even just in the next room?

How do you tell someone what it’s like to open the bedroom door of your child’s room every night to check on them, terrified to find some horror on the other side?

How do you explain the nightmares?

Flashbacks of police interrogations?

The cold sweats and the sheer PANIC that takes over your body when the phone rings?

And it’s just as terrifying to accept that these are things I will likely deal with for a very long time.