There is death. And whatever is matters.
And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say birth does not matter. 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?Â
~C.S. LewisÂ â€˜A Grief Observedâ€™
The passage above from the C.S. Lewis book â€˜A Grief Observedâ€™ is haunting and oh, so true. There is death and it matters. I have read this book many times, losing count since reading it for the first time in 1993, shortly after the death of my first wife. This small book has given me comfort and assuaged my grief in entirely different ways each time. Every reading has found me at a different stage in the grieving process and my life. Much of my poetry deals with life, death, dark, light, faith and belief and I have also written about this subject over the years, here are a few.
So if you are ready, I invite you to plunge down the rabbit hole with me. 🙂 Take a deep breath for there is nothing to fear.
April of this year, 2016, willÂ mark 23 years since she died at the age of 27. I was left alone as a young man with a suitcase full of dreams which I believed that most would never come true. It was and still is time to create and pursue new dreams, which I have attempted to do over the past 23 years. With many setbacks and failures but also a lot of successes.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis
I am very happily married to a wonderful and beautiful woman (Carri, who I urge you to follow at Grace For My Journey) who loves me in spite of me and we have an amazing young daughter.Â You may have seen some of the horse riding videos of my daughter that I have posted here or on Facebook and Instagram. If not, then I would be honored to have you follow me on both of those accounts and Twitter too!Â
Ok, end of the shameless self-promotion! Further up and further into the rabbit hole!
I am doing things I never thought I would, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder; is it better than it could have been?Â Nonsense questions, maybe, but I donâ€™t know.
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. ~C.S. Lewis
I was there to the end when she took her last breath and I live with the hard truth that there was nothing I could have done that would have saved her. My life now is different and very amazingly good most days. I am happy and realizing despite some lingering survivors guilt; that life, this life, my life is okay and that is simply life and it goes on. Does that make any sense?
Anyway back to the passage above.Â C.S. Lewis is right; death matters, to all of us.Â Our own and others death,Â is inevitable no matter how much we may choose to ignore it. We are all touched by this for if we chose life we will also chose death at some point. It is not an option to have one without the other. We ignore death and its consequences, remaining in our ignorance seemingly unaffected or touched by it until one day it will come up and smack us painfully in the ass!
I have never had an encounter where I could say without a doubt that I was visited by a spirit, ghost, apparition, angel, demon or whatever you want to call it of my dead wife. I have had few dreams and prayed hard for some small assurance that she is okay, nothing just silence from God and the simple phrase â€˜trust me.â€™Â Which I still struggle to do and yet my faith encourages me to have hope and just believe.
I have those moments where I stand at the abyss of what is and what was and what could be or have been, it seems easy to make a choice to throw it all away and to search for her in all the â€˜vast times and spacesâ€™ of the night-time sky if only to selfishly comfort myself in this world. But as CS Lewis says, â€˜I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch. She died. She is dead.â€™ Not passed away or sleeping but dead. See the words are not that hard to say.
I distrust all those who say they have been visited by loved ones who have died. Really? How can you prove that? How can you prove love, we know it when we experience it but …? So I live with my desires both for this world and the next.
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. ~C.S. Lewis
Maybe we cannot find the dead nor can they find us? We remain separated by the unknown, a vast undiscovered. We drift here in the physical realm easily 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?Â A glorious reunion I choose to believe, what do you think?
If you could have seen the end from the beginning would you have chosen a different path? I leave you with this, yes, another C.S. Lewis quote; now go forth seize the day, live intentionally and remember you matter!
Oh, but it WAS hard to say. I choked up. â™¥
Thanks Grace. As you know reality sometimes sucks.
Such a heavy topic Mark. I know you have suffered greatly because of the death of your wife. I’m sure that you were devastated at the time. But yea, death is a huge reality. I think about it often.
Thanks Staci, it is heavy but sometimes you have to face the reality. I hope that readers see that despite the pain there is a hope and a future. Keep the faith for He has overcome the world!