Friday, June 27, 2014

From "A Grief Observed"

I came across this passage in the book, "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis, and I found it very applicable to what I have experienced:

"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 and not to me."

What seemed to me to be depression and fear after Trenton was born and I was by myself, is described by Lewis as grief. It's an interesting thought. I remember when my husband had to go back to work after Trenton was home. He had to leave at about 4:00 am for work, and I remember being gripped by fear. The silence of the house is what made it so much harder in those early mornings. Once we were up and into the routine, things got better. I still feel it sometimes. I think it is fear, but I think it is possible that it stems from an overarching grief. It's changed. It's gotten better. But the fear often is still there. The fear of "what if" is one of the most awful fears there is. 

I also remember the "invisible blanket" he describes. I felt it when I first was able to go shopping once we were home. I felt like I was gliding along in a blur of sadness. I felt self-centered, and I was. 

Fear is a sin when it does not deal with the natural reaction to danger, so it is hard to reconcile this with the grief that Lewis describes. I know that grieving is not sin, but perhaps when it grips us in such a way that it affects us physically or in other ways, then it becomes a sin. The same is true for being self-centered.

There is so much as one looks at grief that seems like it could be sin in another circumstance. So where does God draw the line? 

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