One of the most read blog posts over the years was about Charlie Brown and that other Charlie, Charles Dickens. I reread that blog post recently almost 10 years to the day it was written. All of it true in 2020. The massive UPS and DOWNS we are all feeling through COVID are very similar to the feelings of loss. Is grief good? No – it sucks, just to be clear. However grief doesn’t exist if a deep love didn’t exist first. Here’s a reproduction of that post:
I was thinking about Charlie Brown today. Not really about Snoopy or Lucy or that piano dude…remember? Schroeder. I was remembering one of Charlie Brown’s catch phrases….’good grief’. After my extensive (4 minute) search on the history of ‘good grief’ I found….not much. A euphemism for “Good God”, dating back to the 1900’s and of course an ‘Arrested Development’ TV episode from 2004?
I also thought about this quote…ok, you Grade 11 and 12’s…you should know this one.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way..
Got it? Yes, that Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities. Sure, that was written in the 1800’s, but it is a pretty accurate description of grief I think. I’ve seen a lot about stages of grief and I’m sure that is probably true, but right now it is more like a pretty big yo-yo. You go up and down between the extremes of the ‘best of times’ remembering, laughing, joking, smiling and dive down to the ‘worst of times’, missing, aching, dreaming of the missed future etc.
Good Grief? Maybe that Charlie Brown was a lot smarter than I ever thought…but I think Lucy knew that all along.