Exploring Grief

"No one ever told me that grief feels so much like fear." ~ C.S. Lewis

Blessings everyone!  I just returned from 4 days at Rio Dos Elefantes which is my first of 3 visits this summer.  I will go back for 8 days to celebrate my 71st birthday and then again in September for several days with my good friends Susan and Donna who will be visiting.  It is a beautiful spot right on the river.  This trip was a little too cold for me, but we had an amazing sighting of 5 young lions having lunch.  It may appear gruesome - but the beauty of nature also includes the rawness sometimes. 

My mind and heart continue to be on the conversation about emotions and spirituality. And as it normally works, life has been knocking books off of shelves to assist in my exploration of topics which are first and foremost relevant to my own path as well as to us all as we navigate this human experience.

All of my quotes today are from C.S. Lewis who was a British writer and theologian best known for the "Chronicles of Narnia".  A couple of years ago I downloaded a very small  book called "A Grief Observed" by Lewis but did not listen until this week.  I have been surprised by how this recounting of his journey with grief has moved and opened me.  So I want to share it with you. Below is a link to the free .pdf if you care to read it - or you can download the audio version from your favorite source.

The book was created out of journals he wrote immediately following the death of his wife of 4 years from cancer.   I was captivated by the book not only because Lewis graphically shared his grieving process but also because as  a 'theologian' myself, I was interested in the battle he took on with God about the ecstasy of his love for Joy and his grief at losing that love.  Lewis takes a deep dive into love and loss.  Beauty and ugliness - and all of the various experiences of pain which seem to inexplicably accompany the human experience.  

I suppose this is hanging with me because I realized while reading of his journey, though I did not lose a loved one last year, I did lose someone - I lost me, or at least a version of myself.  Not in reality, but there was a stretch of time where I was grieving the woman I was before the hip and the stroke which forced upon me so many unwanted life changes.  Lewis's quote  "I never knew how much grief felt like fear." brought me to tears as I realized that I had been grieving.  That grief has felt like fear.  Fear of the future.  Fear of loss and limitation.  And that grief has at times, felt like a betrayal of everything I believe about God and my fervent belief in how this universe works.  

I have realized how truly hard I have been on myself.  How little compassion I afforded myself.  I have held within me the deepest of the deepest feelings while withholding those same feelings from those I love most.  I don't why.  Upon reflection, there is some fear of appearing weak and feelings of shame.  That somehow my beliefs and my faith should shield me from doubt and questioning.  Perhaps even a sense of being fraudulent at times in my life's work.

Something about all of that has been lifted from me this week.  I am experiencing even more powerfully the presence and the love of that which is Infinite and infinitely Good.  Perhaps another indication that the emotional roller-coaster has value - if only to remind us to look within for all that we are seeking.  It does seem that whatever the 'without' is, it is temporary.  The good news is that my faith is intact and my awe and wonder at whatever God is, continues to get stronger.  I look forward to connecting on Saturday morning at 9am and will offer a Zoom connection following for anyone who would like to share.  For now, I close by sharing on of my favorite passages from this gem of a book - 

'Sometimes, Lord, one is tempted to say that if you wanted us to behave like the lilies of the field you might have given us an organization more like theirs. But that, I suppose, is just your grand experiment. Or no; not an experiment, for you have no need to find things out. Rather your grand enterprise. To make an organism which is also a spirit; to make that terrible oxymoron, a 'spiritual animal.' To take a poor primate, a beast with nerve- endings all over it, a creature with a stomach that wants to be filled, a breeding animal that wants its mate, and say, 'Now get on with it. Become a god.' C.S. Lewis

"If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it." ~ C.S. Lewis


This coming Saturday morning, I am happy to start a conversation about spirituality and emotions.  Dr. Ernest Holmes once said that emotions are a part of the human experience and feelings are of the Spirit.  I hope you join in for what could be a life-changing conversation as I share my discovery of "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis, a powerful personal account of his walk with grief after the death of his wife.  We will also begin the 4-ideas about ways we might explore emotions to gain more mastery over them and a deeper faith resulting from them.  I enjoy the exploration and hope you will as well.

Much love, Denise
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"Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do." ~ C.S. Lewis
“One road leads home and a thousand roads lead into the wilderness.” – C.S. Lewis



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