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A Grief Observed

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  29,233 ratings  ·  1,478 reviews
This very personal anguished story of the death of Lewis's wife is reissued with a foreword by Madeleine L'Engle. The celebrated author shares an intenseaccount of the meaning of death with wit and insight.
Paperback, Large Print, 71 pages
Published February 1st 1985 by Christian Large Print (first published 1961)
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To begin with, let me offer you my condolences.

If you’ve come here to read about C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, you’re probably doing it for a specific reason. It’s not the thing you reach for in times of sunshine and cloudless days and a future of beautiful forevers. It’s the thing you reach for when you are casting about in the dark, looking for something, anything, that might help.

So, I am sorry for your loss. For the grief you are experiencing.

* * *

My grief: On June 22, 2015, my brother-i
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 16, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grieving people; Fans of C. S. Lewis
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, memoirs
Heartwrenching narrative about death and mourning. Inspiring musings of somebody who have just lost his loved one. Musings that include all phases of grief from shock, pain, acceptance and moving on. He even went to the stage of questioning the existence and love of God but in a way is so thought-provoking even people with strong faith will need to double check his deep-seated beliefs.

This 76-page poignant, partly angry and deeply moving journal by Clive Staples (C. S.) Lewis (1898-1963) was fir

Reading this book has resulted in an unknown number of panic attacks. I think that this should be one of the book jacket reviews. How can 73 beautifully deckled pages cause such angst?
Words, words, words.

I have a confession. I had to read this twice… the first time through I was a bit inebriated. Okay, more than a bit. I felt that I needed a little push to get me over that cliff… It’s almost like the more time passes the more hesitant I am to revisit the grief. Not that those scabs aren’t heal
Medeline  Sinclair
I read this book for the first time something like four years ago. Me, like everyone else who had gone through the loss of a beloved, will surely recognize the same emotions that Lewis describes.
It's not easy to give a rational review of this book. It's something like a mirror, reading those words makes you feel like Lewis had been looking into your heart when he wrote them.
But this is not only a portrait of loss. It would be reductive to say that he only speaks about his pain. First of all, the
Dennis Baker
Favorite Quotes:

"I once read the sentence 'I lay awake all night with a toothache, thinking about the toothache an about lying awake.' That's true to life. Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief."

"I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whet
Jan 27, 2011 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone dealing w/grief
Do we find a book or does it find us? A Grief Observed seemed to 'find' me when I needed consoling insight after my brother died; C. S. Lewis was foreverafter a friend who not only knew and understood something very profound, but also had been there for me when I needed him.

A Grief Observed was also my introduction to the immortal Lewis, having missed the Narnian Chronicles in my childhood. While an improbable first book, Grief is no less excellent for being anomalous. Lewis wrote Grief in respo
Donald Barnett
After my wife passed away from cancer and I was in the depths of grief, well meaning friends kept bringing me what I call "victory books." These are books about dealing with the death of a loved one that basically said, "If you were a victorious Christian you would get over this." I wanted to throw those books in the pond behind my house. I hurt bad and I didn't want to get over it! I loved her for 20 years and to just "get over it" was to count her as unimportant in my life.

Somehow, and I don'
Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*
It's hard to rate a book like this - doesn't feel fully appropriate since it's more an internal dialogue through stages of grief than anything else. C.S. Lewis was always a talented writer, whether penning fiction or non, but this is a diary-style jotting of internal reflections during the horrible stages of losing his wife to cancer.

Written in mini paragraphs that were apparently sections recorded during his thoughts, I can almost picture him waking up at night and unable to go back to sleep,
از هر چشم اندازی که به مرگ بنگریم،بدین معنی است که تمام تجربیات به پایان رسیده اند و مربوط به قلمرو گذشته اند و گذشته،گذشته است. معنی زمان نیز همین است،زمان عنوانی دیگر است برای مرگ و بهشت نیز...بهشت نیز وضعیتی است که تمام چیزهای پیشین درگذشته اند

درباره نویسنده
سی اس لوئیس به واسطه خلق آثار ارزنده ای چون نارنیا و اتفاقات خاص زندگی اش، نوینسده ای جهانی و چهره ای شناخته شده است. لوئیس تا پایان عمر خود بیش از 50 اثر از خود به جای گذاشت که برخی شهرت جهانی پیدا کردند. لوئیس تا دهه سوم عمر خود یک خدانا
Unlike C.S. Lewis, it was my dad whom I lost 17 years ago; but when he said that “grief felt so like fear” in the beginning of his book, I believe I know what he meant ; or, to make it more precise, I think he knows exactly what he’s talking about.
A Grief Observed offers a look at a man in deep despair, who doubted God because of it, but eventually emerges with a deep understanding of himself, his love for his departed wife, and of God.

In the first part, the question he presented is not “Do God
It is difficult for a practicing Christian to write a book about losing a beloved wife without sounding a bit too pat to someone whose beliefs are different. And yet, I do think Lewis was honest with himself: When his wife Joy died of cancer, his recovery involved a kind of hide and seek with God.

Throughout this short book, Lewis maintains his high standards of writing and comes up with such painfully honest observations as the following:
Tonight all the hells of young grief have opened again; t
Original post at One More Page

Just yesterday, I was chatting with one of my best friends who is also my old household head in Youth for Christ (YFC). She was telling me about her latest Kindle purchase (if you're curious, it's Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel). I told her about how I was reading A Grief Observed in my Kindle, and added that I wanted to buy other C.S. Lewis books there, too, because I realized that his books are a bit too expensive if I buy it here in full price, and I don't rea
Franco  Santos
¿Te diste cuenta en algún momento, amor mío, de lo mucho que te llevaste contigo al morir? Me despojaste hasta de mi pasado, hasta de las cosas que nunca compartimos.
La obra más personal de Lewis. Es una constante de tristeza y desolación por la muerte de su esposa. En éste se cuestiona la existencia de Dios y nos muestra cómo sobrelleva su dolor inherente a la soledad.

Eramos uña y carne. O, si lo preferís, un solo barco. El motor de proa se fue al garete. Y el motorcito de reserva, que soy
Jim B
Nov 25, 2014 Jim B rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who grieves the death of a loved one.
Shelves: christian, classic
The anguish and honest of C.S. Lewis after he lost his wife made this book unforgettable. I will never forget his fear that his memory was remaking her from the complex person she was to some idealized person. This is one of the griefs of loss. The people we love are so complex while they are alive -- they surprise us, frustrate us, relieve us, disagree with us, love us. It's not enough to remember -- real grief misses what we have started forgetting . . .

I think a lot of Christians and nonchri
This review was first published on BookLikes:

Just over a week ago I wrote a review of The Problem of Pain, one of Lewis' early works, in which I tried (and failed) to come to terms with Lewis' notion that pain is an expression of divine love and an instrument of God's to shape humans into more complex beings.

As some of my BL friends have aptly pointed out, Lewis wrote The Problem of Pain from a theoretical and rather detached point of view. The Problem o
David Gregg
This is one of the most remarkable books I've ever known. It is, in my experience, the best work of short nonfiction in Christian literary history. Regardless, it is certainly one of the most poignant. I feel inadequate to explain further, but being so brief a book, I see no reason why you shouldn't read it.

For those of you who struggle with completing nonfiction, I will tell you that you likely will have no such problem with "A Grief Observed". It's emotionally, psychologically, philosophically
At first, this book totally upset me. As a HUGE fan of C.S. Lewis, it was hard to see him discount God, as he went through his grief. BUT then, I equated it to my own grief of late, and totally recognized his writing as a Christian man, trying to work things out through his anger, grief, love, and amazing love of God. Not really a novel, more just his writings in grief, and anguish, spontaneous, almost as if I could feel the tears as he wrote. For years of reading his amazing Christian, Fantasy ...more
I'm just gonna post quotes

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing."

"An no one ever told me about the laziness of grief."

"The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything."

"And that, just that, is what I cry out for, with mad, midnight endearments and entreaties spoken into the empty air."

Mar 14, 2012 Brett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any human with a soul/heart
One of the most moving (and poetic) masterpieces ever written. This very small book (112 pages) had a profound effect on me, and I would submit that the same experience happens upon the reading of it by anyone else with a heart that still beats strongly in their chest.

Dealing with the imminent death of his wife, now bed-ridden, Mr. Lewis takes us on a heart wrenching journey of sorrow, guilt, and even anger. This is a collection of his actual letters and notes during the time, some more articula
Jonathan Coleman
As always, C.S. Lewis is vividly thought-provoking. Here are some of my favorite pithy quotations from A Grief Observed:

"The most precious gift that marriage gave me was this constant impact of something very close and intimate yet all the time unmistakably other, resistant -- in a word, real."

"You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you."

"What do people mean when they say 'I am not afraid of God because I know He is
This may be both one of the saddest, and one of the most inspirational books I've ever read. In case you don't know the premise, this is a sort of auto-biographical about C.S. Lewis. He was a happy bachelor for most of his life, but through some strange circumstances (involving legal residency) he ended up marrying a woman whom he was close friends with. Before he realized it, he was madly in love with her. Unfortunately after about 4 years of marriage, she passed away from cancer (as did both h ...more
I have had some grief in my life but nothing earth-shattering. I've had grandparents, uncles and aunts, friends, and loads of pets die; however, I have never felt the extreme loss that Lewis touches on so briefly and yet so poignantly here. I had no real reason to pick it up when I did, other than I had never read it and I wanted to read something by Lewis. Now, after reading it, I have two thoughts on this book:

1.) Part of me cannot fully appreciate the weight of this book until I go through
It is strangely comforting to know that C.S. Lewis had moments (or maybe more than moments) of doubt.

This is the first book of his I have read which explicitly mentions purgatory, and I would be interested to know what his Biblical support for it was.
While I was reading this book, my grandma died. There was some comfort in sharing great loss with Lewis. I loved this passage in particular:
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it? .
Teresa B
Nov 30, 2011 Teresa B rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Teresa by: a widower friend
Every person should read this raw, brutally honest portrayal of one author's personal rantings through "the stages of grief" following his wife's death. Those who have experienced the trauma of losing a spouse to death will find empowering validation for their own tempestuous emotions. Those who have not endured such a loss may, through the eloquence of Lewis's imagery, be able to better approach an approximate understanding of what it means for those who have.

A recent widower first recommended
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This slender book--only 76 pages in four chapters--is both raw and powerful. I do understand why one reviewer spoke of feeling distaste that something so personal was published. I think that's its strength though. Yes, I almost wanted to look away. I've felt conflicted at times about Lewis' work. I admire him as a writer, but disagree strongly with many aspects of his worldview. For one, I'm no believer in any aspect of the supernatural, am no Christian, and Christianity defines him and his work ...more
Angelo Marcos
I have been a huge admirer of CS Lewis for a very long time, and I also read a lot of Christian literature, apologetics, theology, and so on, which often reference CS Lewis and specifically this book. Even after all that though, this book was still absolutely not what I expected.

I read the entire book in one sitting (which isn’t the achievement that it may sound as the book is very short), and found it to be a very raw account of CS Lewis' grief. There were actually some parts of it where I almo
This four chapter book is another little dynamo by CS Lewis. It was apparently published a couple of years after his beloved wife died, and a couple of years before he died.

I was caught off-balance a bit by the intensity and rawness of the emotions he revealed in the first couple of chapters. However, I appreciate the honesty with which he revealed his pain, fears, and confusion. The most poignant part of the grief he shared (to me, anyway) was the way the death of his wife challenged his faith
Terri Jacobson
This book is about the grief that C.S. Lewis experienced after the death of his beloved wife. It is raw, honest, and questioning in tone. He has the courage to even doubt his belief in God during this terrible time. This book will be especially poignant to someone who has lost a spouse. However, I recently lost my son, and I found great comfort and solace in this book. A true classic, the best book about grief and loss that I have every read.
Josh-danielle Venable
Written by Lewis after the death of his beloved wife. Great book that reveals Lewis' true feelings and even grappling with God and the grief that the death has caused him. Very short and easy to read.
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  • Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis
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  • Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
  • Knowing God
  • Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
  • The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis
  • C. S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet
CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
More about C.S. Lewis...
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

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“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” 1803 likes
“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” 294 likes
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