I'm not sure time heals all wounds. Sure, time allows for the erecting of a wall to cushion the pain. What was, at first, agonizing and gut-wrenching turns into chronic burning with occasional stinging before becoming the ever-present dull ache.
One can certainly go about every day life with the dull ache, and we have. Since Gabriel's death, much has happened. His sister was born three months later. Another sister was born almost three years later followed by a brother two years after that.
We've had several losses as well. Both of my grandmothers, an aunt, and both of my parents died during those seven years.
Parenting and teaching the children is a full-time blessing. Still, from time to time I allow myself to revisit the other side of the wall. I struggle to picture Gabriel with us at the park, playing and wrestling with his brothers and sisters. I feel the sting of his absence during the holidays. At the beginning of Lent, I can picture clearly his last Ash Wednesday Mass during which he played a tiny six inch guitar during all the songs.
He felt so perfect in my arms. With his head resting on my left shoulder, I'd kiss his soft neck and hold him close.
I don't know when, but I'll hold him again. Happy re-birth day, sweet son.