It’s early days still, but can you feel that hint of fall on its way? In my neck of woods, the sun dips below the mountains earlier in the evenings and there is a definite chill in the mornings. As much as I hate saying goodbye to summer, I can’t help but look forward to more time curling up inside with a good book.
So how was your summer? Hope it was filled with friends and family, good food, sunshine, and of course, great books.
My summer was a strange mix of opposing emotions. Whenever I could, I spent time with friends hiking, camping, and golfing, as well as laps in the pool, one of my favourite ways to recharge. But then came the pain of loss.
In mid-August we said goodbye to our beautiful old dog Vigo, followed a few weeks later by the passing of my husband’s brother-in-law from cancer. Guy was a kind, gentle man who tended a wonderful garden and his beloved dog, and who loved nothing more than cooking for family.
At times, these losses are hard to comprehend. I still look for my lovely Vigo around the house, hoping for a cuddle or just to run my hand over his luxurious fur, his ears soft as velvet, his soulful brown eyes looking back with the wisdom of a thousand years.
Harder still is the realization that such a warm, generous man is gone. Grief, is a process, I know, but there is a cruelty to it as it ambushes you anew over and over.
Of course, many of us have lost loved ones, both pets and humans, and if you live long enough, the experience stacks up. Frequency doesn’t make it any easier and each loss is newly felt. A bit like love that way.
C.S. Lewis expressed his feelings in ‘A Grief Observed’.
Lewis is a comfort to many readers because his grief after the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, whom he met relatively late in life, is expressed in raw, unfiltered but eloquent ways. He eventually comes to acceptance, seeing bereavement as another stage of love. This is one of Lewis’s last works (published in 1961; he died two years later), and I recently described it to a friend as what happens when all of C.S. Lewis’s marvelous intellectual ideas “collide with reality.” The grief. The pain. The healing.
Grief over the death of a partner, or god forbid, a child, must be an unfathomable pain, but loss is not a competition, and it is as individual as a fingerprint.
As Lewis wrote and has been quoted umpteen times, “Grief is the price we pay for love”.
As the weather changes and we move indoors, I hope to get back to writing (it’s been awhile) and delving into some great books to share with you.
In the meantime, happy reading.