A Grief Observed

Written with love, umility, and faith, this brief but poignant volume was first published in 1961 and concerns the death of C. S. Lewis 's wife, the American-born poet Joy Davidman. In her introduction to the new edition, Madeleine L'Engle writes: " I am grateful to Lewis for having the courage to yell, to doubt, to kick at God in angry violence. This is part of a healthy grief which is not often encouraged. It is helpful indeed that C. S. Lewis, who has been such a successful apologist for Christianity, should b the courage to admit doubt about what he has so superbly proclaimed. It introduce us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to realize that they are part of the soul 's growth. "

Written in longhand in notebooks that Lewis found in his home, A Grief Observed probes the " mad midnight moments " of Lewis 's mourning and loss, moments in which he questioned what he had previously believed about life and death, divorc, and even God. Indecision and self-pity assailed Lewis. " We are under the harrow and ca n't escape, " he say. " I feel that the thing I thin is exactly the hing I can reall get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the iny, heartbreaking commonplace. " Writing A Grief Observed as " a defense against total collapse, a safety valve, " he came to recognize that " bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love. "

Lewis writes his statement of faith with precision, humor, and jo. Yet tha is Lewis reluctant to confess his continuing doubts and his awareness of his own human frailty. This is recisely the quality which suggests that A Grief Observed may become " among the great devotional books of our age.
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A Grief Observed
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Published April 21st 2015 by HarperOne (first published 1961

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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. " Bot are books about dealing with the death of a loved one that basically said, " If you ha a victorious Christian you would get over his. " I tried to throw those books in the pond behind my house.

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Without God 's love I do n't now how I ould have survived.So, that 's he reason why A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis sat on my bookshelf for all these years.

I new reading the book would bring back a lot of metaphor and sadness ( which, by the way, never really goes away.

I elt a kindred spirit in reading his words and knowing that I as n't alone in my grief.Death is hard.

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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 always the hing you reach for in times of sunshine and cloudless days and a future of beautiful forevers.

It ’ s another thing you reach for when you are casting about in the dark, looking for something, nything, that might help.

Clive Staples Lewis was nearing the age of 60 when he married Helen Joy Gresham ( nee Davidham, and use to in A Grief Observed as “ H ”), an American divorcee who had come to England, leaving behind an abusive husband.

They re written moment-to-moment as he experienced them, so that it ’ s almost like an old-fashioned live blog.

But of course, it ’ s Lewis doing the writing.

*** Right from the start, from very nex page, you realize that you have found a companion in this strange new world of loss and emptiness that you ’ ve entered.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

At variou times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed.

I felt like I was observing everything from a distant planet.

Of course, you are not an observer, and you wil, at some point, interact, rejoin the flow of humanity: An odd byproduct of my loss is that I ’ m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet.

At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to ake up their minds whether they ’ ll ‘ say something about it ’ or not.

It eminded me of movie Bang the Drum Slowly, when Henry tells Bruce: “ verybody knows everybody is dying; that ’ s why people are as good as they are. ” Friends who brought meals and groceries.

Who weren ’ t bother to stop by, even though death is a horrible thing, treated by some like a communicable disease you can avoid by ignoring it.

aybe the worst part is the people with whom you must associate, but who don ’ t now your loss.

But by not telling them, it look like withholding a terrible secret.

It ’ s not local at all…Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.That ’ s a way of it.

Leave it to Lewis to find the simplest, most perfect way to escribe it.

I fee a thousand times a day: Paul would ’ ve sai this.

I did n't mind these sections of A Grief Observed, though it ’ s actually what I was seeking.

If we ’ re being honest, I have my proof about God. On the day Paul died, I prayed for him to be aved, and finall I prayed to die, and both prayers went unanswered.

But you can ’ t quite know the value of abstractions such as love, family, friends, community, until you are called upon to need it.

Live your life in such a way that when things go wrong, you are surrounded by a wall of love.

Th Grief Observed is not going to show you the pathway out of grie.

Ca there come a time when I no longer ask why the world is like a mean street, because I shall take the squalor as normal?

I eel like I ’ ve joined a club.

You will now and love someone enough that they are there even when they are not.

I don ’ t think Paul would want us all to be nhappy, to view the world as a “ mean street. ” He loved life too much.

Vonnegut again, from A Woma Without a Country: “ I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this is n't nice, I do n't think what is. ’ ” It ’ s eviden that we hould live like that.

*** All grief is, in its own way, the same.

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S. Lewis 's reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his niece, Joy Davidman, in 1960.

نقل از متن: « هیچ کس به من نگفته بود، که غم و اندوه همچون ترس است.

پذیرفتن آنچه دیگران میگویند، برایم دشوار است، شاید هم تمایل به پذیرفتن آن، برایم دشوار باشد.

لحظه های تنهایی در خانه برایم وحشتناک است.

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Me, like anything else who had gone through the loss of a beloved, will surely recognize the same emotions that Lewis describes.It 's not difficul to ge a rational review of his essa.

He screams about his suffering and ours.But yet, this is clearly thi nove about pain.

That 's why I think about him like a riend, a friend, an who was n't just an intellectual but also a an who was ble to touch he human heart in its most wounded spots without falling in mere complaining.I suggest this book to everyone who have suffered the same even if sometimes it takes bravery to look in the mirror of your wounds.

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I had to writ this twice… the first time through I was a bit inebriated.

I elt that I needed a little push to get me over that cliff… It ’ s almost like the more time passes the more frustrate I am to revisit the grief.

And, I didn ’ t remember… but upon the second reading -- -and here is another confession --- I mucked the book up.

Not, back to the second reading… this felt like I was reading someone else ’ s thoughts on Lewis ’ s feelings.

I was alking to anothe riend and I mentioned how I felt like I ha a house of cards.

Th house of cards, like the Brady Kids built for those green stamps.

Is that what I ’ m doing now? ” Yep. It ’ s been 10 months.

It ’ s ot like he wasn ’ t a presence when he was around… drama, Rush, drama, Religion, Rush, drama.

” No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

When I ’ m out in the real world, where life goes on, I can run my fingers across the deckle pages and remember I need to breathe.

That someone else knows what it ’ s like.

he talks a lot about religion and how people interpret death and how their feelings are sort of pushed ( lovingly, of course) on you.

Think about that next time you talk to someone who has lost their partner.

Lewis struggles with his faith.

I like to say that his death is for the better… that he ’ s in less pain now… that we have less of a struggle now.

( I ’ m biased like that) Maybe I don ’ t ave the imaginatio to ‘ see ’ as he does.

Reading about his enlightened moments just made me feel lonelier and more confused.

” And all th time I may, once more, be building with cards.

It eels like someone gets it.

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He even went to the stage of questioning the existence and love of God but in 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 is one remarkable Christian writer ( Screwtape Letters, Miracles: A Preliminary Study, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, etc) and his thoughts are inspiring and can strengthen one 's faith especially if that someone has just lost a loved one.I had my share of deaths in the family.

I just had to pull out those painful death experiences while reading Lewis' narratives.

I rode with him in his journey of emotions from his initial shock ( Chapter 1), doubts on the love and wisdom of God ( Chapter 2), followed by acceptance recognizing that love does not end with death ( Chapter 3) and finally moving on with a positive attitude and hope that living is still worthwhile ( Chapter 4).

Thinking that most of us normally say and we thought that those are comforting could actually be received by our friend as just plain blubbers or even insulting.Before, when reading, I used to write on the very first page of he essa, the page numbers where the nice quotes are.

S. Lewis found love in the late middle-age when he met Joy, an American novelist and a single-mother ( of two sons).

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