“I must think more about [Helen Joy] and less about myself.
Yes, that sounds very well. But there’s a snag. I am thinking about her nearly always. Thinking of the [Helen Joy] facts — real words, looks, laughs, and actions of hers. But it is my own mind that selects and groups them. Already, less than a month after her death, I can feel the slow, insidious beginning of a process that will make the [Helen Joy] I think of into a more and more imaginary woman. Founded on fact, no doubt, I shall put in nothing fictitious (or I hope I shan’t). But won’t the composition inevitably become more and more my own? The reality is no longer there to check me, to pull me up short, as the real [Helen Joy] so often did, so unexpectedly, by being so thoroughly herself and not me…. Slowly, quietly, like snow-flakes – like the small flakes that come when it is going to snow all night – little flakes of me, my impressions, my selections, are settling down on the image of her. The real shape will be quite hidden in the end. Ten minutes – ten seconds – of the real [Helen Joy] would correct all this. And yet, even if those ten seconds were allowed me, one second later the little flakes would begin to fall again. The rough, sharp, cleansing tang of her otherness is gone.”
– C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
I want to write my own thoughts but I am exhausted from the day (even though it was a good day) and weary of pressing grief down so I can have some semblance of a life. So I have let C. S. Lewis describe, in much better words than I could have put together, what I am feeling. I’m losing him. I’m torn with wanting to remember everything I can and not letting myself think about him at all so I can avoid the pain that comes with the memories. I wish I had a week to myself. Somewhere where I didn’t have to see anyone or talk to anyone or care for anyone. A week to cry and write and remember freely without fear of interruption. I don’t see how I could arrange something like that so I’m going to try and find other ways to give myself the space I need to grieve.