Lattes with Lewis: A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
After our most recent miscarriage, several friends had recommended “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis — and while I knew this book was probably something I needed to read, I had put it off, until a few days ago. I used one of my audible credits (you can get a free trial here btw) to download the audiobook, a little less than two hours long if you listen at regular speed.
A Grief Observed knocked me over in the best way possible. It felt like someone running up and tackling you with a giant bear hug, if that makes sense. Although Lewis was writing about the death of his wife and I was (and still am) mourning the loss of my sweet baby, our experiences are similar in so many ways.
Even just the first few sentences took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes almost immediately:
“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.”
I know this is the sort of thing that can perhaps become overused, maybe this is the kind of book everyone gives one another in their grief when they don’t know how else to help each other, I’m not sure because I haven’t been given many books on grief. But this one, this book, has done so much to help my aching heart as I begin to figure out how to continue living while my baby does not. I hope everyone can have the opportunity to read it, although I wouldn’t wish this loss on anyone.
Last month, we buried our sweet Juniper Rose in the infant section of our Catholic cemetery. The ceremony was short and simple and very beautiful even in the midst of the pain. I’m beginning to see the bits of light peeking through the clouds. I’m so grateful for all of the friends and family and most of all my husband and children for carrying me through this. And in a small way, for the wisdom and witness of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien (although I have much to say concerning Tolkien and Grief, that will be for another day).
Juniper Rose Facista, ora pro nobis!