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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.

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6,076821,064 (4.18)100
Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moments," "A grief observed" is C. S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: "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 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.… (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
    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 by Pema Chödrön (ssiegel)
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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.
  StFrancisofAssisi | Oct 7, 2019 |
not dogmatic, but still written by a man of faith, who is honestly sharing his struggles in grief. By the author's own admission, not all that is said in these pages is fully reliable, his thoughts are many and varied and confused at times. But this helps to understand the confusion and what grief can be like. And he is of course lucid in his style, and insightful, which helps greatly. A good book to have for reflection, and pastoral understanding, although not necessarily for comfort to those going through grief. ( )
  matthewgray | Aug 26, 2019 |
"Not my idea of God, but God. Not my idea of H., but H. Yes, and also not my idea of my neighbor, but my neighbor. ...There is always a card in his hand we didn't know about."

What does it mean to be present?

Such a brief reflection; so much wisdom. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period. This 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.
  StFrancisofAssisi | Apr 30, 2019 |
Wow, I never realized how pompous and narcissistic C. S. Lewis and his crowd were, including his wife and son; they created a huge rhetorical apparatus about how cultured and elite they were. The marriage sounds like it was mostly for show (though I'm sure they were friends), and therefore the bereavement paean seemed over-wrought and tiresome. Not recommended if you want to hear a real experience with death and dying. ( )
  belgrade18 | Mar 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 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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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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