Monday, May 24, 2010

No One Ever Told Me That Grief Felt So Like Fear

For those who have experienced the shadow of death in their lives, C. S. Lewis' quote rings painfully true: "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."

While there are a number of emotions that rock you daily - anger, sadness, frustration, pain - it is actually fear that becomes the most difficult to deal with since it is at the heart of almost all the others. It consumes and takes over any ability to make rational decisions or view the world with an untainted eye.

My fear tells me to not get back in my car. Someone could fall asleep at the wheel and I won't see them until it is too late.

My fear tells me not to get out of bed. There is no point in going on.

My fear tells me to double and triple check the locks on the doors and windows. I no longer have a protector.

My fear tells me to hold my tongue. Others might not care about my struggles.

My fear tells me to hide from everyone. Their expectations are too high for me to meet.

My fear tells me I will always be alone. Nobody could possibly love me the way Craig did.

My fear tells me I am defeated. That in the one moment that mattered, I was not there and can never make this right again.

I fight my fear daily. Minute by minute, hour by hour. It never eases, it never goes away.

It makes me fake my smiles, shoulder-check three times before changing lanes, and spend too much time alone.

But then when I am not looking a friend offers a hug and a listening ear, I manage the drive home safely, and I find myself laughing at an unexpected joke. And in these moments my fear becomes so small, I can lock it away.

Even if only for a moment.


  1. Your recognition in all of this is truly amazing. We love you!
    Lydia Cossette

  2. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I can't believe how well you can express this living hell. This is too hard to go through alone and reading your words makes me feel less lonely. I hope knowing others are reading and mourning with you can bring you some comfort too.

  3. I love you Emily.
    Your sister,

  4. You truly are an amazing woman, your strength is unbelievable.

  5. Just found your blog and of course, went straight to the beginning to find "what happened" I am a young widow too; my husband passed in 5 weeks from cancer. Loved this posting, I laughed, teared, and nodded in complete agreement on many of the items on the list. Thanks for sharing!

  6. okay, so my above post was supposed to be on the post about Things I Have Learned! OOPS!