A Grief Observed

A Grief Observed

Written with love, humility, and faith, this brief but poignant volume was first published in 1961 and concerns the death of C. S. Lewis's wife, the American-born poet Joy Davidman. In her introduction to this new edition, Madeleine L'Engle writes: "I am grateful to Lewis for having the courage to yell, to doubt, to kick at God in angry violence. This is a part of a healthy grief which is not often encouraged. It is helpful indeed that C. S. Lewis, who has been such a successful apologist for Christianity, should have the courage to admit doubt about what he has so superbly proclaimed. It gives us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to know that they are part of the soul's growth."

Written in longhand in notebooks that Lewis found in his home, A Grief Observed probes the "mad midnight moments" of Lewis's mourning and loss, moments in which he questioned what he had previously believed about life and death, marriage, and even God. Indecision and self-pity assailed Lewis. "We are under the harrow and can't escape," he writes. "I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace." Writing A Grief Observed as "a defense against total collapse, a safety valve," he came to recognize that "bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love."

Lewis writes his statement of faith with precision, humor, and grace. Yet neither is Lewis reluctant to confess his continuing doubts and his awareness of his own human frailty. This is precisely the quality which suggests that A Grief Observed may become "among the great devotional books of our age."

Title:A Grief Observed
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    A Grief Observed Reviews

  • Matt

    To begin with, let me offer you my condolences. If you’ve come here to read about C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, you’re probably doing it for a specific reason. It’s not the thing you reach fo...

  • Loretta

    I bought this book about ten years ago for a reason. It sat on my bookshelf all that time. Recently a Goodreads friend of mine (Shirley) picked it for me to read for our group's challenge. So I couldn...

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed is a collection of C. S. Lewis's reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, in 1960. The book was first p...

  • Donald Barnett

    After my wife passed away from cancer and I was in the depths of grief, well meaning friends kept bringing me what I call "victory books." These are books about dealing with the death of a loved one t...

  • Diane

    Each person's grief is unique. When C.S. Lewis' wife died in 1960, he journaled and took notes, trying to observe his bereavement. This is a short but meaningful read; it is less than 100 pages, but i...

  • K.D. Absolutely

    Heartwrenching narrative about death and mourning. Inspiring musings of somebody who have just lost his loved one. Musings that include all phases of grief from shock, pain, acceptance and moving on. ...

  • Kim

    Reading this book has resulted in an unknown number of panic attacks. I think that this should be one of the book jacket reviews. How can 73 beautifully deckled pages cause such angst? Words, words, w...

  • Merphy Napier

    This wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it would be more of a general exploration of grief but instead it was spesific about CS Lewis loosing his wife. While there wasn't a lot I could relate to i...

  • Jon Nakapalau

    A beautiful book on loss...what we must search for in our heart when someone we love dies. I must confess that this book brought a mixture of hope and dread to me - I will ponder the questions C.S. Le...

  • Mia

    I read this book for the first time something like four years ago. Me, like everyone else who had gone through the loss of a beloved, will surely recognize the same emotions that Lewis describes.It's ...