Pamela Joins Jamie

We thought we had entered a season of grief and suffering with Jamie’s death in the avalanche. Now, with the death a few weeks later of his mother Pamela—largely from grief I myself believe—we find this season turning into a long winter. The whole family now feels itself engulfed in an avalanche, like Jamie, carried away from solid ground, battered by primordial rocks and free-falling over cliffs. (I, of course, do not pretend to speak for others.)

Being given to reflection and bookishness myself, I tend to process these things through ideas and stories, looking for explanations, contexts, and silver linings. But I have abandoned that for the time being. I will simply grieve among a community of grievers, in this case a community defined by its love of two people—Jamie and Pamela.

Still, I was reading C.S. Lewis a few minutes ago, Pamela’s favorite writer if one goes by her Facebook posts. He says the following in the Preface to The Problem of Pain: “when pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.” I find that true, and therefore helpful. This is a time to set abstract knowledge aside and simply practice—the best we can—courage, sympathy, and love.

And when we think of Pamela with Jamie (and father/grandfather Fred), we can even smile.