One of the other books I read while we were away that first weekend was “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. I was a huge C.S. Lewis fan growing up, and while at college, but haven’t really read much of his stuff since. I found some aspects of “A Grief Observed” really interesting and helpful – and then there were other parts that I totally spaced out during. That will be true of any book, some things will be helpful, others you just won’t connect with.
Probably one of the most quoted sections from the book is a passage that I did find helpful. It talks about the landscape of grief and you can read it below:
“Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process…Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape…not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn’t a circular trench. But it isn’t. There are partial recurrences, but the sequences doesn’t repeat.”
I’ve found this to be true. It’s unpredictable, this thing grief. I find that there are some days that are definitely better than others, and then out of nowhere, I can be hit with this wave of emotion. Last week I was driving to a bar mitzvah for a friend. When I was about 2 minutes away from the synagogue, all of a sudden I started replaying Micah and Judah’s birth in my mind. I don’t know why. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about it, but everything came back in a flash, and it was almost like I was watching it on video…seeing them both be born, remembering the tears and all of the emotions of those moments, those few hours.
But that’s the thing…some days it will be the same emotions I’ve dealt with before, some days the landscape will seem like it’s flattening out a bit, then other days something new will just come out of nowhere.
It’s true – there is no map for the terrain of grief.
Mad(elyn) in Alabama says
When my mother died, our pastoral minister mentioned that he had experienced grief as the rolling in (and out) of waves on the ocean.
I tucked that away and it comforted me.
One of my favorite movies is Shadowlands, based on CS Lewis’ experience of grief over his wife.