A Grief Observed
A classic work on grief, A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moments,” A Grief Observed an unflinchingly truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sense of meaning in the univ...more
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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.
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My grief: On June 22, 2015, my b ...more
My mother died in January 2007 and my father died in June 2007. To say that I was overcome with grief is a colossal understatement. Losing one parent is hard enough but two? Bereavement counseling was my lifeline. In counseling they suggested I write in a journal to express m ...more
A Grief Observed is a collection of C. S. Lewis's reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, in 1960. The book was first published in 1961 under the pseudonym N.W. Clerk, as Lewis wished to avoid identification as the author.
Though republished in 1963, after his death, under his own name, the text still refers to his wife as “H” (her first name, which she rarely used, was Helen). A Grief Observed explores the processe ...more
Somehow, and I don' ...more
Lewis often wrote and spoke about his Christianity, and this book has meditations on God and faith and purpose. I am not a religious person, so another reader may find these sections more ...more
This 76-page poignant, partly angry and deeply moving journal by Clive Staples (C. S.) Lewis (1898-1963) was fir ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
"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 ...more
“And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. It gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time
Which is so true. I think Douglas H. Gresham rightly notes in his Introduction to this book that the article is an important part of the title. This is A Grief Observed. It is Lewis's own personal struggle and discovery.
Yet at the same time, grief is recognizable. We share something when we grieve, something that transcends specific circumstances. Lewis touches that.
He is so emotional in this book that it shocked me. This isn't the Lewis I recognize, yet at the same ti ...more
To the end, his vision slightly changes. He revives in daily life. He thinks of the dead person as an reflection of God, in which the person still can exist, also for them who stay ...more
At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when th ...more
The book is presented as a paradigm of Psalm 22, as it be ...more
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, ...more
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 ...more
Having said that, I think this book is his most honest and genuine book. I have attempted to pick up some old Lewis, The Four Loves, Surprised by Joy, and see that the to ...more
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 ...more
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...more
Some of the parts are so heartbreaking and sad that I was totally captured right from the beginning till the end. This book surely has a great message. ...more
My favorite writing of Lewis' is his novel Till We Have Faces. TWHF is about the grief that follows loss, and in this story Lewis nails it in stunning fash ...more
1.) Part of me cannot fully appreciate the weight of this book until I go through m ...more
Clive Staples Lewis 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 ...more