Years ago I bought a copy of C.S. Lewis’ book ‘A Grief Observed’ and someone borrowed it from my office and the book never returned. I finally decided to replace it and I’m glad I did.
This book is the journaling of Lewis after the loss of his wife. It is such a sad book, but at the same time so romantic. The book is romantic, poetic, tragic, and brutally honest. I appreciate Lewis being honest with his questions and his struggle with God. The book was a sobering reminder that one day Erin and I will have to say goodbye, and that the end of that love relationship is going to be so very painful for the one left behind.
Pain at the end of a relationship, the saying goodbye at death, shouldn’t be a surprise, but rather it is the final stage of every love relationship that we know is coming. It’s the cost of loving. The depth of the pain is a reminder of the depth of love. Lewis says that this pain and loss is a part of the relationship as much as the falling in love and honeymoon is. It’s the final stage of love. This thought was a powerful reminder for me to truly cherish all the moments I have right now with Erin. The smiles, the laughs, the jokes, the breakfast dates to Chit Chat Cafe, the adventures to New York and Zambia, the struggles, the tears; these are only here for a short time and I need to live in them to the fullest because I won’t have them forever.
One day, if Erin passes first, I will mourn the loss of my best friend and it will be the most difficult and gut wrenching experience I will ever go through, and each one of those laughs, smiles, dates, and adventures will be memories. With everything in me I will want to hold her hand just one more time. I will want to make dinner for her just one more time. I will want to lay in bed and watch just one more episode of ‘Friends’ together. I will want just one more breakfast at Chit Chat where she orders her coffee, scrambled eggs and a single blueberry pancake. But those moments will be gone and I will be left, as Lewis was; remembering, asking difficult questions, and wrestling with God.
Lewis says that remembering you were once happy before you ever met that person is so difficult to do because your whole past is now colored by that love relationship, even the parts they weren’t in.
‘A Grief Observed’ is a short and quick read, but it is very emotional and raw. I wouldn’t describe it as a comforting book, but rather an uncomfortable reminder of the reality of loving. I think every person will feel different things and walk away with different reminders as they read this book. I was reminded to live richly in love with Erin every moment we have left together.