Friday, July 10, 2009

More C.S. Lewis with Comments from Me

The picture is forever changed.

"It is hard to have patience with people who say 'There is no death' or 'Death doesn't matter.' There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter."- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

One of the most difficult things about bereavement is that others minimize it. They imply that it's been six months or a year, or whatever block of time, and that we should be "over" it. I've met other bereaved parents, and find that this is a source of pain for them as well. I noticed that John Travolta begged out of doing publicity for his newest movie, simply saying they were still reconciling their son's death, yet his wife has gone back to work. Does that mean she has moved on but he hasn't? No, everyone copes differently. Some go back to work, some like us, stay home; some change everything, some change nothing.

The point is, no matter what the outer appearance, no bereaved parent has moved on. They are doing whatever is required, or whatever helps them to cope, but they are still very, very much in grief over their child. It is the most earth-shattering experience of life, and in some ways we will never move on. That's our lot, for purposes we won't understand till eternity. It just helps if others will understand that-- instead of pressuring us to be... what? our old selves? Our old selves died with our children. We are painstakingly building a new self.

But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
2 Samuel 12:21-23


Anonymous said...

Soooo Have you considered writting a book? You have such a way of expressing your thoughts. I love that about you. I also love that you find the best ways to make us feel normal.
Love Sharon

Gannet Girl said...

Well put.

I find that, because I end to "do" things," people make - I think - assumptions that I have moved on. They have no way of knowing that it is with us every single second, and that everything reminds us, one way or another, of the ones we have lost.

I can't believe how many people asked me, "Did you have a good
4th?" I understand that they're just making casual post-week-end conversation, but not a single person seemed to understand that it was yet another in a grueling sequence of holidays and memories that we were trying to contend with, and that for us such days bear no resemblance to what most people experience.

Liza's Eyeview said...

yes, people copes differently - each one is unique. I know someone who grieved (and is grieving) the loss of her son but one one would ever suspect she is grieving (or has grieved) for a long time because he went right back to the "normal life" as others would call it normal. Some are transparent, some likes to grieve in secret - but everyone who had lost someone they love grieve for a very long time, until they meet them gain in heaven.

That said, I am glad you are the "more transparent" one. It helps others understand ...

Maisha said...

I love you...

Anonymous said...

I understand. People thought I was silly for not being able to take a shirt out of my laundry room that mom had last touched. When she died, I didn't move anything she had touched for a very long time.

Not long after my husband retired from the AF, we bought a cleaning franchise. Dumbest thing we ever did! But we cleaned a few houses---

One house was the grieving family of a little boy who was tragically killed in a bicycle accident several years earlier.

The mom explained to me that I was to dust and wash windows, bed linens, etc---but not to disturb the young boy's room as to notice any real changes.

I cried my way through cleaning his room and she saw me. Then we cried together and she said it was the best cleaning I could have given her.

I did not try to hide my sorrow for her--but yet tried to understand. I let her take me through his room and show me everything she felt she wanted to share.

We got to the point where we could laugh and be mom's together in that one little room on that one afternoon.

We moved away and of course sold that business to someone who enjoyed cleaning--but I will never in a million years forget that mom's grief and how very raw it was.

She was a healthy Christian woman who just wanted to grieve for herself, her child, and the stuff that forever changed.

So I say---talk and talk alot---it gets sweeter every time you tell it.