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Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting over it...

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to heal from a loss, what it means to "get over" a loss. The best explanation I've found has been from C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed, which he wrote right after the passing of his wife. 

"Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he's had his leg off it is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he'll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has 'got over it.' But he will probably have the recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again."

I really love this analogy that he gives. It feels like there has literally been an amputation of the heart... and we're just having to learn now how to live in a new way. It won't ever be the same as it was before. Everything is different now. We'll adapt and find our new 'normal', but we won't ever really 'get over it' in the sense of 'forgetting about it'... but, we will find ways to live anew.

And, actually, though the pain is sometimes intense, I'm finding that I'm enjoying the perspective and view this new life has provided. Life is simpler. It feels less cluttered, less hurried, less distracted. Just one of the many blessings that has come with the whole package of this experience.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Love this post Megan! We will never get over it! The trick is finding how to go on without having our little ones with us. You truly are amazing!