Monday, April 7, 2014

C.S. Lewis on the death of a friend

We attended Dorothy Thomas’ memorial service this weekend. Uncle George and Aunt Dorothy have been important to us; they served as the named guardians of our children should we die an untimely death. Now they have both died, and we feel their absence. We are reeling under the news of Stan Thornburg’s death last week. He was our contemporary, our pastor in years past, our friend, and the world is not the same without him in it.
CS Lewis’ thoughts on the death of his friend, novelist Charles Williams, help me express my own sense of loss.

Your death blows a strange bugle call, friend, and all is hard
To see plainly or record truly. The new light imposes change,
Re-adjusts all a life-landscape as it thrusts down its probe from the sky,
To create shadows, to reveal waters, to erect hills and deepen glens.
The slant alters. I can’t see the old contours. It’s a larger world
Than I once thought it. I wince, caught in the bleak air that blows on the ridge.
Is it the first sting of the great winter, the world-waning? Or the cold of spring?

A hard question and worth talking a whole night on. But with whom?
Of whom now can I ask guidance? With what friend concerning your death
Is it worth while to exchange thoughts unless—oh unless it were you?

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