What I’m taking in these days…

IMG_9999“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. — At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed.

There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another an not to me.” –C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

I read C.S. Lewis’ journal of his thoughts after the death of his wife after my own mother died. It helped me in my own grief, and also gave me insight into what my father might be feeling. I feel the weight of my dad’s grief even more so now, and find solace in the fact that he is in a place where he no longer has to mourn the loss of my mother. And I find Lewis still putting into words the exact same emotions I drown in these days:

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

*     *     *
I’m also taking in moments of hope from The Lord of the Rings stories and films. They spoke to me in my grief ten years ago, they are still speaking to me today.

“My dear Sam, you cannot always be torn in two; you will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do. Your part in this story will go on.” –Frodo

Frodo: “I can’t do this, Sam.”
Sam: “I know, it’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here, but we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t even want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now. The folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something.”
Frodo: “What are we holding on to, Sam?”
Sam: “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Eowyn: “What other duty would you have me do, milord?”
Theoden: “Duty? No. But I would have you smile again, not grieve for those whose time has come. You shall live to see these days renewed. No more despair.”

*     *     *
“And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. It gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness.” –more from A Grief Observed

*     *     *
A couple months ago, I wrote a tiny bit about Lamentations and how I found the poetry beautiful and heart-breaking, but I wasn’t sure of its Biblical purpose yet. I wasn’t questioning it, I was just marveling in God’s ways that I didn’t understand. I still don’t understand, but I am grateful to have the book of Lamentations in the Bible so that I can read it now and friends can share it with me and I can say:
Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

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6 thoughts on “What I’m taking in these days…

  1. Pingback: thoughts on escaping… | evermind: Chased by Light

  2. Pingback: What I’m taking in these days… part 2. | evermind: Chased by Light

  3. Pingback: “With time…” | evermind: Chased by Light

  4. Pingback: Eleven. (Months). | evermind: Chased by Light

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