I just now, today, am feeling a truly genuine sense of peace and a feeling of being healed after my daughter's death five-and-a-half years ago.

That's a lot slower than I expected it to take! And, who knows? I may be on the fast-track — I've been incredibly intentional and cooperative in my healing journey. Who am I to say how long things should take? How long should healing take? Fifty years? Five days? Who am I to say? I've never actually healed anyone or anything before.

On this journey of grieving and healing, I've had to let go of my expectations of myself to *appear* healed in order to *actually* heal... over and over and over.

What this tells me is that either something is majorly wrong with me, making me the slowest healer of all time, or that many people who appear to be healed quickly after great loss have not allowed themselves ample time to actually heal.

I want to blame culture. But, ultimately, it's my choice whether to bend to culture's expectations or to trust the process and its natural timing.

It's been a battle to trust. But I'm very glad that I have.

We've all experienced loss over the past two years. There will be pressure on each of us to appear healed ASAP. And we will have to choose whether to settle for appearing healed, or to actually heal.

Later today I may feel like a mess again. But I will have the same opportunity then as I do now.

Trust the process. This may take a while. Maybe a lifetime. That's okay. Our strength is not in our ability to make things take less time; our strength is in our ability to rest and trust; to be present and receptive in each moment along the way — the ups and downs, the dark and light — knowing that every night has a dawn, and while we have no control over the timing of it, we can have complete confidence in it.