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A Grief Observed Paperback – April 21, 2015
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"I read Lewis for comfort and pleasure many years ago, and a glance into the books revives my old admiratation."-- John Updike"A very personal, anguished, luminous little book about the meaning of death, marriage, and religion."-- "Publishers Weekly
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.
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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.
I have since given this book to others that have suffered losses. I do think that it would not resonate that well with someone that was not in that awful place of grieving for a loved one. Without that pall, I think the reader may fail to grasp what Lewis is telling us.
Fair warning. This is not "easy" reading, but it can be an important help.
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.
Amazing how in tune with his loss is to my own. I was amazed how better I felt as I shared his pain and new I was not alone. If a man who has lost your wife , special love, do yourself a favor and read C.S. Lewis "A Grief Observed". Once read, you will understand and find comfort. I did.