Monday, August 2, 2010

A Grief Observed

"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 others to be around me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
There are moments, most unexpectedly, when something inside me tries to assure me that I don't really mind so much, after all. Love is not the whole of a man's life. I was happy before I met H. I've plenty of what are called "resources." People get over these things. Come, I shan't do so badly. One is ashamed to listen to this voice but it seems for a little while to be making out a good case. Then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this "common sense" vanishes like an ant in the the mouth of a furnace.
On the rebound one passes into tears and pathos. Maudlin tears. I almost prefer the moments of agony. These are at least clean and honest. But the bath of self-pity, the wallow, the loathsome sticky-sweet pleasure of indulging it-- that disgusts me. And even while I'm doing it I know it leads me to misrepresent H. herself. Give that mood it's head and in a few minutes I shall have substituted for the real woman a mere doll to be blubbered over. Thank God the memory of her is still to strong to let me get away with it.
And know one ever told me about the laziness of grief. Except at my job-- where the machine seems to run on much as usual-- I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much... They say that an unhappy man wants distractions--something to take him out of himself. But only as a dog-tired man wants an extra blanket on a cold night; he'd rather lie there shivering than get up and find one." C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed

I picked this up and started reading it this morning and was struck by how much it rung true with me right now, the restlessness, and disinterest in what is going on around me in the lives of others. Now, no one has died, I'm not going through the struggle of losing someone, but I am going through a lot emotionally right now. It's been a constant up and down struggle for some time now and I am seeking to balance things out and find something else for me to focus on. Mainly I need to be focusing on the Lord and what He would have me do to serve Him with my life. This is very easy for me to say and know, but difficult to put into practice. Especially when my thoughts constantly want to turn to that which is upsetting and making me restless.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit with me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore me to the joy of Your salvation,
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:10-12

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
You have given commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
...For You are my hope;
O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.
...But as for me I will hope continually'
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And of Your salvation all day long;
For I do not know the sum.
I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone.
O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
For Your righteousness, O God, is to the heavens,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
You who have shown me many troubles and distresses
Will revive me again,
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
May You increase my greatness
And turn to comfort me.

Excerpts from Psalm 71

2 comments:

His Handmaidens said...

Very good...but was there a particular reason for you posting this?

Daughter of the King said...

I understand feeling detached from things...sometimes I get so worried about things in my daily life that I retreat into my own mind and start to forget that there are people around me...a world around me...waiting for me to take part in life with them once again.

I hope you find peace in His presence and that your swimming emotions are able to start settling down. I will definitely say a pray for you! :)
Many blessings,
Sarah