My friend Pat gave me a book to read yesterday called, “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. It wasn’t a very big book so I finished it by this morning. Even though our situations were totally different and you can’t compare a marriage relationship to that of a mother/child, I did find it helpful in a couple of ways. I felt a sense of relief that someone like Lewis, who has written how many books on faith and God, could get so angry with God as to lash out at Him. That he would question everything he ever believed about God and realize that he built houses of cards which God then knocked down to build true ones. I find myself feeling the same way, it’s like everything I knew about God, my entire relationship with Him has changed. He has decimated my house of cards and it now lays in ruins and ashes. Funny thing though, I don’t have any real emotions about it. Just a reserved anticipation of what God will now reveal to me – if I’m listening. Hopefully I don’t get impatient and fall for the temptation to rebuild my card house to feel a sense of security, or to allow others to rebuild it for me. No. Only God can rebuild my house and I suspect He won’t build it out of cards but out of something far more lasting. A house of stone (of truth) that will withstand tragedies like the one we’ve just experienced.
One thing I did read that I found very interesting and something to ponder is when C.S. Lewis wrote: “For, as I have discovered, passionate grief does not link us with the dead but cuts us off from them. ……. I seem to remember – though I couldn’t quote one at the moment – all sorts of ballads and folktales in which the dead tell us that our mourning does them some kind of wrong. They beg us to stop. There may be far more depth in this than I thought.”
Even though “A Grief Observed” is a small book and easy to get through, I know I didn’t understand the half of it. It’s one book I don’t mind going over a few more times until I truly understand what he is saying and am able to apply what he learned to my own grief. Reading the writings of C.S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft, and G.K. Chesterton makes me wish I was an educated person so I can take away everything there is to learn from their writing. Or at the minimum, to be able to read their work without it giving me a headache. deep sigh