I look up at the night sky. Is anything more certain that in all those vast times and spaces, if I were allowed to search them, I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch? She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn? ~CS Lewis ‘A Grief Observed’
As I re-read the CS Lewis book ‘A Grief Observed’ the above excerpt got me thinking, and yep, I eagerly plunged down the rabbit hole. I have read this book numerous times and I have lost count over the past 20 years when I read it for the first time in 1993, shortly after the death of my first wife. This small book has given me comfort, assuaged my grief although in entirely different ways each time. Each time I re-read the words I have been at a different stage in the grieving process and my life.
The year of 2013 marks 20 years since she died at the age of 27. Far to young for one to die, especially of metastatic breast cancer, forgive me, an older women’s disease. I was left alone as a young man with a suitcase full of dreams and suddenly most would never come true. It was time to create and pursue new dreams, which I have been attempting to do over the past 20 years.
I am very happily married to a wonderful and beautiful woman (Carri) who loves me in spite of me and we have an amazing young daughter. I am doing things I never thought I would, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder; is it better than it could have been? Nonsense questions, maybe, but I don’t know. It is different and very amazingly good most days. I am happy and realizing despite some lingering survivors guilt; that life, this life is okay and that is simply life. Does that make any sense?
Anyway back to the passage above. CS Lewis is right; death matters, to all of us. Our own and others physical death is inevitable no matter how much we may choose to ignore it.
I have never had an encounter with the spirit, ghost, apparition, angel or whatever you want to call it of my dead wife. I have prayed hard for it, for some small assurance that she is okay, but nothing just silence from God and the simple phrase ‘trust me.’ Which I have struggled to do. I have wanted to search for her in all the ‘vast times and spaces’ of the night-time sky if only to selfishly comfort myself in this world. But as CS Lewis says, ‘I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch. She died. She is dead.’
I distrust all those who say they have been visited by loved ones who have died. Really? How can you prove that? But how can you prove love, is there any science behind that? Like trying to catch the wind in a bottle. Maybe we are creating our own illusion which needs to be washed away or maybe, dare I say it, it is something more sinister?
Maybe we cannot find the dead and they cannot find us? We are separated by the unknown, often adrift here in the physical realm disconnected from the spiritual realm. Maybe when we die physically and enter into the undiscovered that is when the beloved dead who preceded us will then find us? What do you think?