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A Grief Observed Paperback – February 6, 2001
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From the Back Cover
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 of 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.
- Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers; 1st edition (February 6, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 76 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060652381
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060652388
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 3.28 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you are grieving an enormous loss, you may find comfort here. I can't explain why, as C.S. Lewis did not include words of comfort. I have found absolutely no comfort in anything else I have read - with titles like Roses in December and so on. They tend to be written after the author had worked through the grief and can speak of it with the clarity of hindsight that the experience taught them. Well, when you are in the depths of sorrow, nothing makes any sense. Everything you believed has been knocked over. And that is exactly what C.S. Lewis describes in his own grief. It is profound. If you have not suffered a devastating loss, this book might not communicate well to you. But if you have, you will find a great mind and wonderful writer who understands your grief well enough to put words to it.
With that sentence the book starts, and immediately every human being, living or dead, understands what Lewis means. I've felt it; you have, too. The rest of it simply works through from that one opening sentence. Even if (impossibly!) you've never known grief, reading this helps you understand that of others. One of the most valuable books ever written.
“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” ― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
"Your grief is your love, turned inside-out. That is why it is so deep. That is why it is so consuming.
We have all kinds of ridiculous judgements and rules about grief, loss and healing, but the truth is that grief shows us just how deep our love goes. When your sadness seems bottomless, it is because you love knows no bounds." - Alison Nappi, author
Top reviews from other countries
Well-meaning people feel that they need to say something in sympathy but don’t know what to say and are unable to admit it.
This book hit the spot for me and I truly believe that my Heavenly Father directed me to it.
Here was a man, C.S. Lewis who really did know how I felt because he had actually been there.
My personal pain remains but God used this book to remind me that I was not alone, that my Heavenly Father held me still in his hands and used another man’s experience as that reminder.
At the time I really couldn't see my way out of almost stifling grief - but she gave me a copy of this book and suggested I read it - and pop a yellow sticky in the pages that most resonated with me.
A month or so on she suggested I re-read it and do the yellow sticky thing again - and already I could see I was moving on - if only through the stages of grief at that time. I hadn't believed it possible.
Several readings later - loads more yellow stickies - and months passed - and I finally understood what she'd been hoping for.
As hard as it seems - and as hard as it is to see - we do all move from where we started.
I found some of the book - especially the more religious bits hard going - and skipped over them - whilst appreciating even at the time that they might bring some comfort to others.
CS Lewis - wrote this book after the death of his love - portrayed in the film 'Shadowlands' - and despite being a rather restrained individual and theology boffin - went on to care for her son and from there we get the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series - which made many kids like me really enjoy books.
I still have that original copy with all of the yellow stickies - and treasure it always as it tells my journey back to the land of the living far better than I could!
I've also bought copies for and passed on the yellow sticky advice on a very few appropriate occasions in the last 18 years. It has always helped.
A truly great book - inspirational and untold help.
If you ever find yourself in need of such a prop - well worth buying - and whilst the paper version and the yellow stickies - tried and tested - bookmarks or notes on kindle probably do the same thing.
I've just looked it out again on the recent death of a close friend's husband - and will be passing on a copy again.