"How blessed is he who considers the helpless..." Psalm 41:1

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The G Series: Grief

i recently found it appropriate to read C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed. not having a spouse and certainly not losing one in the way that Lewis lost his wife, i cannot even begin to fully understand. i do feel tho, that all of us as humans, and having the capacity for profound love, can relate. and even in a case as his, no two people feel or grieve just the same.

Lewis states that "Grief feels like fear, like being mildly drunk,.." and later, "... like suspense." that feeling is one that i recently went thru. the grief so sincere that i couldn't move a muscle. i sat, arms folded. it was as if i were to move i'd lose all my bearings or break down. maybe it was suspense. maybe i was waiting for the shock to wear off... for it not to be true.

one thing i have learned in all of this adoption literature over the last year is that the unknown is much more terrifying than reality. open adoption is the best choice for everyone involved. when a child does not know the circumstances surrounding their situation or does not feel free to ask about them, the imagination can create a monster in and of itself. communication is so important between people. the art is finding the right time and place, as well as what and how much to reveal or inquire about. this is where we need God, to trust Him, and let Him guide and show us.

"The earthly beloved, even in this life, incessantly trumps over your mere idea of her. And you want her to; you want her with all her resistances, all her faults, all her unexpectedness... And this, not an image or memory, is what we are to love still, after she is dead."

WOW. this has stuck with me. how often do we idolize a person or situation or memory? in reality they are much more than our memory. and it is hardest to remember clearly thru the pain of sorrow.

"You can't see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears. You can't, in most things, get what you want if you want it too desperately: anyway, you can't get the best out of it. 'Now let's have a real good talk' reduces everyone to silence. 'I must get a good sleep tonight' ushers in hours of wakefulness. Delicious drinks are wasted on a really ravenous thirst..."

Lewis notes that sorrow is not a state, but a process. a lesson i think anyone who has tried to work thru something, rather than repress it, can comprehend.

"But my heart and body are crying out, come back, come back. Be a circle, touching my circle on the plane of Nature. But i know this is impossible. I know that the thing i want is exactly the thing i can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace." then Lewis later questions his motives. "What sort of lover am i to think so much about my affliction and so much less about hers? Even the insane call, 'Come back,' is all for my own sake."

grief can be a strange thing. i found myself grieving a particular dream so intensely that i felt more alive. odd yes, but being a person who is seen as chill, aloof maybe, many people never know the intensity and passion in me. i found myself actually giving thanks for the sensation of being so alive and feeling so deeply.

i guess the point in feeling grief and being put thru difficult times cannot be known, but we learn more about ourselves in the process. 'what doesn't kill us makes us stronger', character building of some sort. i'm just thankful to have loved so deeply to feel that way.

God doesn't ask us to fix things (that's His job), He does ask us to be a little less timid and a little less passive about things.

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