Today’s sermon in church, inspired by Walter Bruggeman’s book Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks, focused on the second of these tasks, namely grief. I found myself thinking of several of the sci-fi/fantasy series I know and love, because I tend to favor those series that acknowledge there is darkness, both in us and the world around us, but also acknowledge that the darkness can be overcome. So I thought I’d share some of the quotes that I’ve collected over the years on grief.
From The Dragonriders of Pern series
“Sudden grief is always a shock”–Admiral Paul Benden, in Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey.
“Grief can be exhibited in many ways”–Masterhealer Capiam, in Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern by Anne McCaffrey.
“To cry was to release all sorts of ugly little pressures and tensions”–Lady Nerilka, in Nerilka’s Story by Anne McCaffrey.
There’s something in us humans that clings to life even when the most beloved one we have leaves us” F’lon, rider of bronze Simianth, in The Masterharper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
From The Harry Potter series
“To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure”–Headmaster Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
“You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of trouble?”–Headmaster Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”–Headmaster Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
“Oh, come on. You heard them, just behind the veil, didn’t you? They were lurking out of sight, that’s all. You heard them.”–Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Star Trek Quotes
“A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.”–Dr. Boyce in “The Menagerie: Part I” from Star Trek: The Original Series.
“It never makes any sense”–Captain James T. Kirk in “Balance of Terror” from Star Trek: The Original Series.
“If there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s”–Lt. Cmdr Spock in “This Side of Paradise” from Star Trek: The Original Series.
“How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life”–Admiral James. T. Kirk in in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
“Pain and guilt can’t be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They’re things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are…If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away. I need my pain!”–Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
“You see, we are mortal. Our time in the universe is finite. That is one of the truths all humans must learn.”–Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “The Bonding” from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“Death and loss are an integral part of life everywhere.”–Counselor Deanna Troi in “The Bonding” from Star Trek: The Next Generation
“What we don’t know about death is far, far greater than what we do know”–Captain Kathryn Janeway in “Emanations” from Star Trek: Voyager.
Star Wars Quotes
“Nothing wrong with feeling and acknowledging sorrow and pain…The crime is letting them hold you prisoner.”–Jula Darklighter in Star Wars: X-Wing 4: The Bacta War by Michael A. Stackpole.
“Mourning the loss of a friend and teacher was both fitting and honourable, but to dwell unnecessarily on that loss was to give the past too much power over the present”–Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.
“I think the human capacity for loving is too great for a single loss, however enormous, to blight.”-Lieguis Vorn in Star Wars: Planet of Twilight by Barbara Hambly.
“We all experience deep pain. It’s the price of surviving. How we handle that pain is what matters.”–Jedi Master Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The New Rebellion by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
DROMA: “I’ve lost friends and loved ones to tragedy, and I’ve tried to do exactly what you’re doing.
HAN SOLO: “What I’m doing?”
DROMA: “Trying to beat tragedy by outracing it. Filling your life to the brim, even when it puts you in danger. Burying your heartache under as much anger as you can muster, without realizing that you’ve shoveled love and compassion into the same grave. We live for love, Han. Without it, we might as well jettison everything.”
–from Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse by James Luceno.
“More than through anger or lust for power, the dark side enters through despair. Through the belief that, in the end, there is nothing but pain and sorrow and death, and that nothing we do truly matters. I’m here to tell you that we do matter. And that despair is an illusion that the dark casts before our eyes.”–Jedi Master Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way by Walter Jon Williams.