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.