aka The Frazzled Mom
I just watched The Commuter and as silly of an action flick as it was, it was still fun to see Liam Neeson defeating the bad guy. Um…spoiler? Oops. 🙂 When did the Liam Neeson action flicks start? Was it with Taken? I mean, I know he’s been in action films before, but it seems like Taken was a big hit. A father, with a very special set of skills, sets out to find and rescue his daughter from a drug trafficking ring. Sure, he’s been in plenty of good movies: K-19, Rob Roy, Schindler’s List…and Darkman!! (LOVE the film score as well as the movie) I’ll be happy to watch any Taken-ish movie, as long as it’s Liam Neeson winning.
I remember it was a year after Taken that his wife passed away. He’d commented nearly a year after about burying himself in his work in order to get through the grief. And what he’d discovered was, once the work stopped, the grief was there as if waiting. His retrospection on his wife’s death was interesting. Everyone experiences grief in their own way. It’s rough.
When I think of grief, my mind inevitably goes to C.S. Lewis. In A Grief Observed, he speaks of the struggles in dealing with loss, grief and the feelings involved. In the introduction, he states that the book was more like his attempts at examining his grief in order to better understand the whys of pain and sorrow from the loss of loved ones.
“Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels — welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house. Was it ever inhabited? It seemed so once. And that seeming was as strong as this. What can this mean? Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble?” A Grief Observed (pp. 5-6)
I love that he shared his thoughts without trying to make them more politically correct. He described grief as similar to the feeling of fear: the fluttering in the stomach, the restlessness. Or at other times, he notes numbness. I know of many people in my life, including myself, that could benefit from reading through A Grief Observed as well as The Problem of Pain. Lewis wasn’t a stranger to the effects that cancer had on not only its victim, but also surrounding friends and family. That word, the associated symptoms. I have a headache. Could it be a brain tumor? A twinge of pain in the breast. “Do I feel a lump?” A persistent cough with no cold symptoms. “Could it be something in my lungs?” We’ve all done it. Experienced the symptoms, consulted the Internet. It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“Cancer, and cancer, and cancer. My mother, my father, my wife. I wonder who is next in the queue.” – A Grief Observed (p.12)
He described cancer as more than just a word. That we don’t meet that one thing head on, but rather it’s the ups and downs, the good times and bad, that give it such impact. We meet each moment, each hour as it comes. We struggle to make sense of the pain. That’s where I find The Problem of Pain such an important read. He didn’t write as a scholar that knew nothing on the subject. Rather, he had an intimate relationship with pain.
“But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” -The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis
For those that are struggling with pain, with grief, I encourage you to grab a copy or the audiobook and see what Lewis has to say. He’s honest and straightforward in his thoughts on suffering. I think we need that. No sugar-coating, just the truth. What we may be going through, someone else has gone through as well. Trying to stay strong, concealing the sadness that is eating away inside, the fear of the unknown that is gnawing at the back of our minds. I can say from personal experience I’ve done this. To avoid showing weakness to family and friends, I’ve saved my tears for the shower. No one can hear you quietly sob when the water is running.