Letting go of desperately reaching

February 9, 2010 at 11:03 PM 1 comment

I really have to say that I appreciated C.S. Lewis’s book A Grief Observed a lot. As I read his journal entries recording his experience with his grief, I found that much of his thoughts and feelings were my own…as his changed, my changed too…I found myself relating to his experience of grief most of the time.

As I mention often in my posts, one of the hardest things about losing Hailey – is the “losing” part. I don’t want to feel like she’s lost. I don’t want to forget her. I fear forgetting her, not being able to remember, and so on. I mentioned something Lewis shared in his book that I have experienced too which is how pictures of our loved ones who have passed away function in our lives. I am so thankful for the pictures and video I have of Hailey – they do help me remember her at times. But at the same time, they are sometimes a “block” to who Hailey really was. A picture cannot capture Hailey as I truly knew her. A video comes close, but it doesn’t capture everything about her, her smell, her touch, etc. Those pictures and videos can actually impede on our memory of the person. Because after all, they are not the person.

Sometimes I find myself desperately searching for a particular memory of Hailey. I frantically search and search and everything in my mind is a blur, a fog. I feel a sense of panic when this happens. Fear. Frustration. Anger. Could I have forgotten the sound of her cry already? Could I have forgotten what her eyes looked like when she took a bottle? I panic. I try to reach out and grasp it like it’s almost there… and it’s always almost there…but not quit within reach.

Lewis observed this in his grief, and I am experiencing this too: when you let go, when you stop trying desperately to remember… a funny thing kind of happens. God seems to bless you every now and then with an incredibly vivid memory of something. This has happened with me and Hailey. I didn’t let go on purpose necessarily. I more or less had reached a point of exhaustion and gave up trying to grasp onto the Hailey that I knew here. And then, to my surprise, every now and then, I get a snippet of something very clear.

Not always. And I can’t ‘make it’ happen. It’s not like I choose to go 24 hrs without thinking of Hailey and then decide suddenly I want to remember what she smelled like and expect it to happen instantaneously…it’s not that at all. I think of her all the time still, I just don’t expect life to be like she’s here again. I don’t think of her and expect to have the vividness, the realness back… yes I want it, but I don’t expect it anymore…because when I expect it, that’s when I don’t get it and can’t grasp it.

So in letting go, whatever the intentions were behind it, God has allowed me to have a few brief moments of good memories…they’ll never be like 100% as they were when she was with us, but they’ll be close. I’ll take a few moments of quality remembrance over frequent moments of blurred, desperate attempts at remembrance.

Remembering is still frustrating at times. Because there are of course still times where I desperately try to remember…but my mind and heart are in a better place I guess now. I’ve accepted that I can never be satisfied in my memory of her. Because the only way I can have 100% satisfaction – would be if she were still here. And she’s not. And I accept that.


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Random musings…mostly about my guilt-complex First post on new site

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ilea  |  February 11, 2010 at 3:19 AM

    I wish I had a book recommendation for you-there was one I had read for school that dealt with grief but I cannot for the life of me recall the name. Kind of a funny story-it was written by a man whose wife was dying of breast cancer (obviously not the funny part…). I sobbed like a baby through the whole thing and then I looked up the author to find out if/when the wife had passed and found out that about 2 years after she died he remarried and had another baby and I was SO MAD. Anyway-I am happy to hear that you seem to be in a pretty good frame of mind. It is so wonderful that you were able to have your family in AL so that everyone could meet Hailey…together you help make each others memories stronger 🙂


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"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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