Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

A Grief Observed

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Jerry and LisaHe was crying one minute. And the next minute he was angry, harboring resentment against God. Then he was feeling guilt. Then he felt resigned, and fairly peaceful. Then he was laughing at some funny little memory. Then he was crying again.

My brother’s wife had died of a sudden heart attack as they sat together watching TV.

In those first weeks after her death, Jerry would sometimes call me late at night just to talk …and I saw A Grief Observed.

In his book C.S. Lewis writes, “In grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?How often – will it be for always? – How often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, ‘I never realized my loss till this moment’? The same leg is cut off time after time.” 

A Grief Observed is the journal of C.S. Lewis’ honest feelings, and the jarring questions about his wife’s death, and the brief lapse of his own faith in God.

“Where is God? …Go to him when your need is desperate, when all other help is in vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face.”

Lewis admits that he never intended his journal to be published. But it occurred to him years later that his grief and observations, and finally his peace and understanding might be a help to others who had lost a loved one.

I sent the book to Jerry, and he called me yesterday in awe.  He said it is “like he is reading my mind!”anniversary Jerry Lisa

“That is exactly what I hoped for,” I told him.  God knows what we need to hear.

We laughed about the times we have gone to church and heard a message that made us almost think the pastor had our house bugged and knew all our business, or someone had been telling tales about us.

Jerry told me that once he and Lisa had a fight. That night as they lay in bed Lisa apologized in her cute Filipino broken English, “Jerry, I don’t know why I do the things I do. I always want to do one thing, but then I do what I don’t want to do. I don’t understand.”

Jerry said he was almost laughing as he reached across the bed to his wife’s night table and picked up her Tagalog bible. He turned to Romans 7:18 where Paul wrote, “… for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

bible “How did he know how I felt?” Lisa was stunned, and comforted to know that she and the great Apostle Paul went through the same struggles.

And that’s how Jerry felt reading A Grief Observed.

He said he will finish it and maybe read it again and then send it back to me. Of course I told him I don’t want it back. I have a couple of copies. Make notes in the margin and underline things and cry all over it and then put it on your shelf. Someday you will want to give it to somebody else as you observe their grief.

It is good to know we’re not alone.


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

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