the shadow

When I returned to my desk this afternoon, after a full day of enrollment management consulting, lying on my desk was (500) Days of Summer and a sticky note from Matt. Lesson of the Day: lend movies to Matt & Kristen. Because when you do, a) the time of return is so distant, the movie seems like a new release and b) fun sticky notes await. 🙂

Despite its depressing, one-dimensional infatuation, the petty fights, and the self-obsessed lead, I really like this movie. (and its fabulous soundtrack!) I so enjoy the nonlinear narrative of their relationship.

Which got me thinking…  if I wrote a nonlinear narrative about my life, the theme of Grief would never be absent. Suicide, Tragedy, and Cancer have knocked on my door and resided since I was 14 years old. First, a friend in my youth group who died falling out of the back of a truck; then my high school best friend’s boyfriend who shot himself. For the past 25 years, I have attended more funerals than weddings or graduations.

And I continue to answer the door. But I’m no longer afraid. In fact, the more I grieve, the nearer I feel to heaven. That’s a tension I’m content to abide in. For He is with me.


“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid.

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.

Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms.

Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not, “So there is no God after all,” but “So this is what God is really like.”

Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.

By writing it all down (All? No. One thought in a hundred) I believe I get a little outside it. Perhaps the bereaved ought to be isolated in special settlements like lepers.

But her voice is still vivid. The remembered voice – that can turn me at any moment into a whimpering child.”

~ C.S. Lewis


3 thoughts on “the shadow

  1. heatherbland says:

    favorite post yet.

  2. Megan says:

    Ditto. Profound.

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