Monday, February 20, 2012

A Grief Observed by CS Lewis

The book A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis was put in my hands yesterday and I’ve just finished reading it.  It really was a helpful book.  Lewis wrote the thoughts in A Grief Observed after he lost his beloved wife to cancer.

Honestly, I think perhaps losing a beloved spouse is much worse than losing a child.  Scratch that.  Who can quantify hurt in the lost of a loved one.... A child is a little person who you love and adore.  A child is someone you care for; you put a lot of time into.  They bring much joy and pride.  They pray for you and you for them. They are your little friend and pal with just enough distance so they still respect your authority.  But a spouse goes beyond that.  When I think of my Tim he is literally my better half.  He’s my best friend.  He’s my comfort, my authority, my partner, my lover, my confidant, my warrior, my spiritual leader, my security and my loyal companion.  He knows my deepest secrets.  He knows my every flaw. Yet he still loves me.  There has not been one day since July of 1997 that I have not uttered his name or loved him deeply. Perhaps you cannot even dare to measure losing a loved one.  All losses hurt.  All people feel loss differently.

Lewis describes losing a loved one like an amputation.  When someone loses a leg (or any body part for that matter), they can still live.  They can still breathe.  They can still eat and sleep.  They can still laugh and find joy.  You can put a prosthetic leg in its place.  The wound will heal over, but the leg is still missing.  It always will be.  That’s kind of how it is with Brandon.  He’s always going to be missing.

The biggest reason I love to read is to learn.  I won’t read a book simply to kill time or entertain myself.  I am far too busy.  I feel if I read it must be to learn.  In addition to Lewis’s amputation analogy 3 things he said jumped off the pages at me.  I believe I feel the same way he did regarding my loss of Brandon, but Lewis says them so much better than I could.  So I’d like to share these with you.

1.        “Round and round everything repeats.  Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?  But if a spiral, am I going up or down it? How often—will it be for always? How often will the vast emptiness astonish me? (p. 56)

2.       He (a man) has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses.  Only torture will bring out the truth.  Only under torture does he discover himself. (p. 38)

3.       God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality.  He knew it already.  It was I who did not.  (p. 52)

Anyway, I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to read this book.  I’m grateful for the day off for President’s Day and I love the sunshine.  I’m off to share a picnic in the back yard with my two littlest girlies. 

I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have PEACE.  In this world you will have trouble.  BUT TAKE HEART!  I  HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD. John 16:33

1 comment:

  1. Powerful stuff AS ALWAYS! You teach me something new every time I read anything that you have written!...Kathy Brewer (My 12 yr old Katie loves to read it too!)