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A Grief Observed (1961)

by C. S. Lewis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,49395995 (4.16)112
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 universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.… (more)
  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
    When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön (ssiegel)
  4. 01
    Widower's House by John Bayley (KayCliff)
  5. 02
    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.
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» See also 112 mentions

English (94)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
Given to me after Emma's birth it was one of the greatest books I could have read at that time. I still go to it often full of so much wisdom and raw emotion. ( )
  MsTera | Oct 10, 2023 |
Got a strong feeling I’m gonna be re-reading this every couple of years for the rest of my life. ( )
  theoaustin | May 19, 2023 |
Extraordinary. Would read again. ( )
  catrickwood | Apr 2, 2023 |
56564
  WBCLIB | Feb 19, 2023 |
A Grief Observed was the first book that I was able to read after my beloved cat of 19 years passed away. I knew that it wouldn't be exactly applicable to my situation, but I was looking for a story of grief from a Christian's point of view.

Some sections of the memoir worked very well for me, while others (particularly Chapter 2, when C.S. Lewis has lost his faith) do not. I found Chapter 3, where a great healing is taking place, to be the most helpful as I also learn how to heal. The evolution of Lewis' grief is what I think most people will find useful in this book, as it may give other readers hope that we will come out of the depths eventually.

The honesty of this memoir impresses me. It shows such bravery for this Christian man to display his loss of faith so openly to the reader. If nothing else, A Grief Observed showed me quite clearly that I did not lose my faith during the time of my own grieving. That did give me a significant amount of comfort.

The version that I read has a lovely and honest introduction by Madeline L'Engle. ( )
  dinahmine | Jan 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome 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.
What do people mean when they say, `I am not afraid of God because I know He is good?'  Have they never even been to a dentist?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Originally published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk.
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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 universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.

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