Throughout most people’s lives, experiences of joy, pleasure and happiness are cherished, memories of good times offering succour and solace when life becomes unexpectedly tough. Usually however, people look forward with bright optimism, refusing to succumb to a pessimistic scenario. Few are clairvoyant, unable to accurately predict what’s around the corner.

Instead, recollections of the past and promises for the future can foster reassurance in the here and now, enabling people to withstand the trials and tribulations of the present to transcend hurt and suffering.

Regarded as the father of medicine, classical Greek physician Hippocrates wisely opined that “Healing is a matter of time, but… also a matter of opportunity”, asserting belief in the adage that “Time heals all wounds”.

As 19th century British Prime Minister William Gladstone told the House of Commons “Time is on our side”.

Yet, invoking opportunity may not be as easy as waiting for time to pass to feel renewed, reinvigorated and refreshed. Indeed, it demands practical and decisive distraction to deflect dwelling on pain, comprehending it should not be denied or dismissed, but confronted as authentic and real.

The importance of time in the healing process was perceived by psychologist Worth Kilcrease in 2008 in the British magazine “Psychology Today” as taking the initiative to do something that causes something else to happen; something that is positive and proactive. “It’s what you do with time that heals”, he believed.

While many mourn the loss of loved ones in this pandemic, and many others’ livelihoods are depressingly affected, it seems relevant to acknowledge the passage of time can herald a new beginning with moments of joy to be lived again. Pain might not be abandoned forever, but its intensity can be subdued.

Moreover, many people have been schooled in hard knocks, with one’s emotional response critical, even timely, in coping with them.

A vaccine to eradicate the fear and threat of COVID-19 keeps hope thriving, despite needing time, allowing gratitude for being alive and well to value that time as precious.

Certainly, this time may be tinged with tears of sadness, but it can also embrace great wonders of the world; ironically timeless in their majesty and magnificence, soothing our sorrow and engendering faith in the healing power of life itself.

Trauma and trouble can fade into a surreal, if not senseless, aberration, inviting patience, resilience and courage, as well as self-belief and confidence in a faith that welcomes tomorrow as more enriching than a permanent perspective of surrender.