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A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
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A Grief Observed (original 1961; edition 2001)

by C. S. Lewis (Author), Madeleine L'Engle (Foreword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,537841,050 (4.19)105
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)
Member:revmattmonroe
Title:A Grief Observed
Authors:C. S. Lewis (Author)
Other authors:Madeleine L'Engle (Foreword)
Info:HarperOne (2015), Edition: 1, 76 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

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

  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 by Pema Chödrön (ssiegel)
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» See also 105 mentions

English (83)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
A classic and a keeper ( )
  Jolene.M | Jul 30, 2020 |
C.S. Lewis wrote this after the death of his beloved wife. Their time together was short, but it was all the more poignant because their connection was so intense. He was left wishing for all the years they might have had together. He is so honest about his pain making him question his faith.

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

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” ( )
  bookworm12 | May 11, 2020 |



"And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief. I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much. Even shaving. What does it matter now whether my cheek is rough or smooth?"

"Come, what do we gain by evasions? We are under the harrow and can’t escape. Reality, looked at steadily, is unbearable. And how or why did such a reality blossom (or fester) here and there into the terrible phenomenon called consciousness? Why did it produce things like us who can see it and, seeing it, recoil in loathing? Who (stranger still) want to see it and take pains to find it out, even when no need compels them and even though the sight of it makes an incurable ulcer in their hearts?"
( )
  iSatyajeet | Mar 29, 2020 |
Orig. published (without L'Engle's foreword) London: Faber, 1961 ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (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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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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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.

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