C.S.Lewis was an amazing man who died one day before I was born and just three years after his beloved wife ran to heaven ahead of him.
In these later years I’ve often wondered how much grief played a role in his departure.
I have appreciated his books for decades. Shared them with others and spent hours reading The Chronicles of Narnia series to my children.
He is a family staple.
But he can be a bit hard to understand at times-his rich background studying literature informed his own writing style. So I often have to tease apart longer quotes to get at the meat of what he’s saying.
It’s always worth it.
I read A GRIEF OBSERVED in my 30’s as another in a long list of “Books You Should Read”. I gleaned a bit here or there that I thought might be of use later on.
But when Dominic ran ahead to heaven, it was the first book on grief I bought for myself and I read it like a starving man set down to a full table.
This passage, in particular, was helpful in understanding how my absolute trust in the FACT of ultimate redemption of my pain and sorrow did absolutely NOTHING to take away the pain and sorrow-it only made it bearable.
If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild.
~C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
My son is safe in the arms of Jesus. And that is a comfort.
And I, trusting in that truth and leaning into my faith in Christ, am also comforted that even here, in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, am safe in the arms of Jesus. I may FEEL lost, but I am NOT lost.
But-and here’s the experiential truth that separates those of us who experience the REALITY of child loss from those that IMAGINE it-my mother’s heart is denied the presence of my son for the rest of my earthly days.
All the things I had hoped for, dreamt of and expected to experience are robbed from me.
There is no remedy for that.