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A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
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A Grief Observed (1961)

by C. S. Lewis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,269541,161 (4.17)77
  1. 10
    Levels of Life by Julian Barnes (KayCliff)
  2. 00
    The initials in the heart by Laurence Whistler (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both authors write of their grief at the death of their wives.
  3. 01
    Breathtaking by Amber Nicole Metz (sundancer)
    sundancer: Breathtaking is a modern day version of A Grief Observed, written by a young woman of faith who planned her own funeral before she had graduated college.
  4. 01
    Widower's House by John Bayley (KayCliff)
  5. 01
    When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) by Pema Chödrön (ssiegel)
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» See also 77 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I'd recommend to anyone going through the grieving process due to death or extreme illness. He hits the very heart of grief and love. ( )
  imaginationzombie | Sep 28, 2014 |
Probably the best thing about this slim book is the raw honesty of Mr. Lewis' emotions and his thoughts. Without fear, he expresses his greatest fears and the most painful things about his loss of his wife. For anyone grieving, there is relief in the thought that we are not alone - that here is someone who knows all those hurtful thoughts and emotions and claims them and is able to move through them. There's hope in that. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Sep 20, 2014 |
Following his wife's death, Lewis kept a journal reflecting on his grief. This book comes from those reflections. Lewis, in his own unique way, describes grief and puts into words what so may of us who grieve actually experience. Moving and insightful. ( )
1 vote jerrikobly | May 1, 2014 |
A Grief Observed will be a comfort and inspiration to anyone who has ever lost a loved one.
In April 1956, C.S.Lewis, a confirmed bachelor, married Joy Davidman, an American poet with two small children. After four brief, intensely happy years, Lewis found himself alone again, and inconsolable. To defend himself against the loss of belief in God, Lewis wrote this journal, an eloquent statement of rediscovered faith. In it he freely confesses his doubts, his rage, and his awareness of human frailty. In it he finds again the way back to life.
  RubislawLibrary | Feb 1, 2014 |
This short book, written in the first flush of grief by Lewis, packs quite a punch as he describes, no, records his grief and anger at the loss of his wife. I read it while reading Julian Barnes "Levels of Life", another author's attempt to write out his grief at losing his beloved. One author a Christian, the other an atheist, both books are illuminating, honest and powerful. I believe Barnes has more in common with Lewis than he might think. ( )
  nmele | Nov 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gresham, Douglas H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
L'Engle, MadeleineForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nils-Øivind HaagensenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
Quotations
Did you ever know, how much you took away with you when you left?
Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history and if I don't stop writing that history at some quite arbitrary point, there's no reason why I should ever stop. There is something new to be chronicled every day.
It’s not true that I’m always thinking of it… but the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst. For them, though I have forgotten the reason, there is a spread over everything, a vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss… What’s wrong with the world to make it so flat, shabby, worn-out looking: then I remember.
Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time. Empty successiveness.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060652381, Paperback)

C.S. Lewis joined the human race when his wife, Joy Gresham, died of cancer. Lewis, the Oxford don whose Christian apologetics make it seem like he's got an answer for everything, experienced crushing doubt for the first time after his wife's tragic death. A Grief Observed contains his epigrammatic reflections on that period: "Your bid--for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity--will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high," Lewis writes. "Nothing will shake a man--or at any rate a man like me--out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself." This is the book that inspired the film Shadowlands, but it is more wrenching, more revelatory, and more real than the movie. It is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The author recounts his grief over the death of his wife, and explains how he reexamined his religious beliefs.

» see all 6 descriptions

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