As the weeks remaining in this pregnancy diminish, so to shrinks my to-do list. There are still a lot of things left on it but they seem a little less insurmountable, a fraction less overwhelming. As I work through it on automatic pilot, my thoughts wander. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my brother -- being too familiar with signs of depression, I spend a lot of time assessing my feelings. I wonder if some of my disconnect with this pregnancy is the juxtaposition of his death against this arrival of new life. Some days I feel a little guilty that I get to have this experience, again, when he never did.
It feels weird and wrong to think this is a year that he isn't here.
It feels strange to think he will never meet this baby.
Self-care is important and I have been avoiding it lately, in favour of focusing on all the tasks I have to complete before my due date. I know this isn't healthy. I also know that holding on to strong emotions at this point in a pregnancy doesn't work well for me -- I bottle things inside and end up wound too tight when I need to be relaxing and letting go.
Many years ago I picked up a copy of this book -- I was doing religious studies at the time, and C. S. Lewis is unavoidable in that context.
Whether you believe in God or not, this is an incredibly powerful piece of writing, and Lewis is a persuasive writer. He discusses his grief and loss from within the context of his faith -- breaking completely and then rising like a phoenix -- but it applies equally, in my opinion, to any strongly held personal beliefs. Death and its implications for our own mortality shake us at our foundations.
This book is one of very few that altered the way I view my place in the world.
I gave away my copy of this book about 15 years ago to someone I thought could use it more than me. This week I picked up a new copy for myself.