The Ocean

After losing Joel lots of people sent me books on grief. I have quite the little stack piled up by my bedside. I plan on trying to get to them one by one. I am trying to learn all that I can about grief. I feel like the more that I know the better I can understand what I am walking through and what is "normal" and "healthy" versus not healthy. I am trying to walk this out in the healthiest way possible. I am trying to walk through the pain and tackle it head on. I don't want to be 10 years down the line and still have grief issues that are popping up because I didn't work through these issues now. I will say it is not easy to work it out from day one. It is painful. And trust me when I say that it would be much easier to pull the covers up over my head and hide. But grief is so intense. It is like an ocean large and vast. If you aren't careful you could drown in it or be swept away by it. It could happen before you even realize that it has happened. One moment you are at the shore playing in the surf the next you are carried out to sea with no land in site. The first book that I chose to delve into is "A Grief Observed" by CS Lewis. CS Lewis was an incredible writer but I must confess there were many of his works that I had a hard time diving into because of the highly intellectual way in which he writes. But I will say that I am loving this book. He tackles this issue in the same way that I try to tackle my writing on this blog. He is open and honest with the reader about the intense pain he is walking through but he also tries to direct the reader to a hopeful conclusion. He lost his wife to cancer not long after they married. As he writes he is still reeling from that loss. I am still at the first part of the book which is where he is discussing the pain. I look forward to the end where he comes up with his conclusion. The chapter that I read last night had a great line in it. He says:

"I know the thing that I want is exactly the thing that I can never get."

When your roof leaks you have a roofer repair it. When you are sick you go to a doctor. But when you have lost someone that you love, there is no remedy for it. The only thing that you want is for your loved one to come back to you and yet that is the only thing that you cannot have. You must endure it. It is an incredibly helpless feeling. That is why I believe that "acceptance" is one of the hardest parts of walking out grief. I know in my head that I will never see Joel on this earth again and I know in my head that my life will never be the same. But it takes my heart awhile to catch up with what my head knows. All I know now is that I still have deep moments of realization throughout my day that my life will never be the same again. Each time that I get that revelation the force of it is so heavy. It nearly feels like the first time, every single time. It is so painful. That must be why your heart feels like there is no way it can be real.

This is the messy part of grief. This is the part where there is no easy answers except to just keep walking forward one day at a time. And the most important part for me? Just to know that I am not alone.

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown..." Isaiah 43:2


He is with me in my ocean, holding me close to the shore, and He will never let me go.