eBook C.S. Lewis î î A Grief Observed PDF ✓ A Grief PDF or

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 growthWritten 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 loveLewis 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


10 thoughts on “A Grief Observed

  1. Zv,ɭ#A'45R kV\ CuIPr/KLB'Ox H`Aّڵr\b7\E~z8sR;rc^%;kשu(v`ǻz칼o ]VPbiB ZR"SfH!sLmףB F,fܝ%>Ԯ95L >"ΤEa^WJ, b{WVܳV,Y… U&Ӷ@YI.>>>A NguSa*V (cīv`'{mt @AA@@HLPTD H\hp@|Д|} oM4!552 3Uk@l¯0)y< G=tT^IvURTp%nq+NμUtUn;8,;tŨlಪ**'*,j-Yܩ7IǢ=`%'"g !r,1/Hp2̚lTQ@y4=Q/^;uդ WehZ{hK3LdzӇ OTJ7F!~<ٍGC; ()B⨠11EJCu@ DDAGăG?!y1(9iDI خAT 9BZB6K13cTѪ} 2s^YFRF߿\؇tԆ9o_Kēry1Y] ;A5*НFаQȃ](l]ap /K;`ѱz;<>D$̚DTIvެyay&¦OcKE5ßR7*o$}pD+}Bi#9b`d1zD/?3M]#@e鄿6,"N3$Gؓ)$K,>Aέ4)<-!#;HK*cIT.b%עP|}e8{HC&B3=,X̊p$HKRmevIwwURZFOCNY$(VG. 0By8W/wzYP]J2؆M fdkoZCgBs˅U8_Xqs\qUuC{" N-zSK-O /,$k 8}Qz)T@a 0@ 0h A=dDܚt@ 8QSMxcB^XA^fJq(f8ѳf(% YrF7[5pR7,yŴ*u:f(E)Z{.t c`ifRKmi׼85[okYp tKWcY|CVV|2oUi[ U0-6JU{Kk,1-22)rBk Zqeԗ%.*H͆ߘPF%iM."IFy`bR!@ ļmSoAzfkVV,VEӔIލÉ%COw'DCqѵ؍@޳hek!C7 9ig!ˣ3! > * juUcL1UeL3mnhʩa*=ň,"5͡X’mE6Ww)RsL2ɍrA  Aj*&R+r(aBYafXRi5L0ȭ"Fm(1"j+PgPEeYK?7:cq yA~G?s&nX>iZ0 ł5Xɥ#@.X/8A drۥه7@"]JO41w ^މCvBzBU =M~*/4F;*hAb$ `48cm-J~97At'M{;7roeU_;Ha{# a1oE+w dOp1zk7YYB-щj*i ;ͼblxc-zBU/dLJK] ]=IV`RPV.p,5TkF8WwN5f,r[2՚*kQ&v3 r!I"-H۔G*UU#DEЌ`%ݙ!#87Pf,[\2!R|\hnTF sìa\ZPy.3)Pa5Z 0N5x()̹oha2e˜B9EZ^P[shBnv@"4P-+Ve#A%/r0|&ʪ_PmѺ@v[<93`f5~Qt-4~-e0^KF+fzіdwB-R++OF 2{h#بktuJL0W!]E`lq"Ըʀx 50Iw~y $b x v}@3lA48U5f(& .n<əq+LXR Sv MWD[lHi\F"KXP p.},ek{ghU ,4#M:֍#1t>R<^lb3tY1u3ŭ_2YuZi hv C,`USG^EDC,p<ghP`剾PNB% Hã,I. e(v6 HVԲ2.jWcܼT!V ODwE%mc0^\H5d͠unK{[GK%D2%UPZ&MWa9l&cD3G@BUrϹY;H@HD J/]"U!mn'\7LݣjE\>xl([0-!YaC\9ckGWH 6qb%@l ħVKgfIDDD@EF . FUD62_ۊ~ILY R:a#%(!1Q Aa02@PRqr@B@\Lw[%A46kwA]sNP*%نp).aA,#|4IM4" srcset=">d`l$$( ( ,,$,(,,,8@0(,4L\T@PZv,ɭ#A'45R kV\ CuIPr/KLB'Ox H`Aّڵr\b7\E~z8sR;rc^%;kשu(v`ǻz칼o ]VPbiB ZR"SfH!sLmףB F,fܝ%>Ԯ95L >"ΤEa^WJ, b{WVܳV,Y… U&Ӷ@YI.>>>A NguSa*V (cīv`'{mt @AA@@HLPTD H\hp@|Д|} oM4!552 3Uk@l¯0)y< G=tT^IvURTp%nq+NμUtUn;8,;tŨlಪ**'*,j-Yܩ7IǢ=`%'"g !r,1/Hp2̚lTQ@y4=Q/^;uդ WehZ{hK3LdzӇ OTJ7F!~<ٍGC; ()B⨠11EJCu@ DDAGăG?!y1(9iDI خAT 9BZB6K13cTѪ} 2s^YFRF߿\؇tԆ9o_Kēry1Y] ;A5*НFаQȃ](l]ap /K;`ѱz;<>D$̚DTIvެyay&¦OcKE5ßR7*o$}pD+}Bi#9b`d1zD/?3M]#@e鄿6,"N3$Gؓ)$K,>Aέ4)<-!#;HK*cIT.b%עP|}e8{HC&B3=,X̊p$HKRmevIwwURZFOCNY$(VG. 0By8W/wzYP]J2؆M fdkoZCgBs˅U8_Xqs\qUuC{" N-zSK-O /,$k 8}Qz)T@a 0@ 0h A=dDܚt@ 8QSMxcB^XA^fJq(f8ѳf(% YrF7[5pR7,yŴ*u:f(E)Z{.t c`ifRKmi׼85[okYp tKWcY|CVV|2oUi[ U0-6JU{Kk,1-22)rBk Zqeԗ%.*H͆ߘPF%iM."IFy`bR!@ ļmSoAzfkVV,VEӔIލÉ%COw'DCqѵ؍@޳hek!C7 9ig!ˣ3! > * juUcL1UeL3mnhʩa*=ň,"5͡X’mE6Ww)RsL2ɍrA  Aj*&R+r(aBYafXRi5L0ȭ"Fm(1"j+PgPEeYK?7:cq yA~G?s&nX>iZ0 ł5Xɥ#@.X/8A drۥه7@"]JO41w ^މCvBzBU =M~*/4F;*hAb$ `48cm-J~97At'M{;7roeU_;Ha{# a1oE+w dOp1zk7YYB-щj*i ;ͼblxc-zBU/dLJK] ]=IV`RPV.p,5TkF8WwN5f,r[2՚*kQ&v3 r!I"-H۔G*UU#DEЌ`%ݙ!#87Pf,[\2!R|\hnTF sìa\ZPy.3)Pa5Z 0N5x()̹oha2e˜B9EZ^P[shBnv@"4P-+Ve#A%/r0|&ʪ_PmѺ@v[<93`f5~Qt-4~-e0^KF+fzіdwB-R++OF 2{h#بktuJL0W!]E`lq"Ըʀx 50Iw~y $b x v}@3lA48U5f(& .n<əq+LXR Sv MWD[lHi\F"KXP p.},ek{ghU ,4#M:֍#1t>R<^lb3tY1u3ŭ_2YuZi hv C,`USG^EDC,p<ghP`剾PNB% Hã,I. e(v6 HVԲ2.jWcܼT!V ODwE%mc0^\H5d͠unK{[GK%D2%UPZ&MWa9l&cD3G@BUrϹY;H@HD J/]"U!mn'\7LݣjE\>xl([0-!YaC\9ckGWH 6qb%@l ħVKgfIDDD@EF . FUD62_ۊ~ILY R:a#%(!1Q Aa02@PRqr@B@\Lw[%A46kwA]sNP*%نp).aA,#|4IM4" class="avatar avatar-100 photo amp-wp-enforced-sizes" height="100" width="100" layout="intrinsic"> says:

    To begin with let me offer you my condolences If you’ve come here to read about CS Lewis’s A Grief Observed you’re probably doing it for a specific reason It’s not the thing you reach for in times of sunshine and cloudless days and a future of beautiful forevers It’s the thing you reach for when you are casting about in the dark looking for something anything that might help So I am sorry for your loss For the grief you are experiencing My grief On June 22 2015 my brother in law Paul drowned He was an exceptional human being He was smart – a college graduate working on his PhD He was fun He laughed like nothing else He was athletic He played college rugby and climbed mountains and ran 50k trail runs He was a great friend an incredible brother and a transcendent uncle He was life personified He died at the age of 24 All grief is different CS Lewis’s grief was the death of his wife Clive Staples Lewis was nearing the age of 60 when he married Helen Joy Gresham nee Davidham and referred to in A Grief Observed as “H” an American divorcee who had come to England leaving behind an abusive husband Lewis was an Oxford don a Christian apologist and the creator of the minimalist epic The Chronicles of Narnia He wasn’t looking for a profound and passionate love but he found it all the same Lewis knew that Gresham had terminal cancer when they wed For a time remission gave them some measure of hope The cancer returned however and she died leaving Lewis bereft This his first great experience of love and of the loss of love spurred him to do what he did in such an inimitable fashion He wrote A Grief Observed is a collection of his meditations They are written moment to moment as he experienced them so that it’s almost like an old fashioned live blog But of course it’s Lewis doing the writing Originally his reflections were so raw so honest that they were published under a pseudonym Right from the start from the very first page you know that you have found a companion in this strange new world of loss and emptiness that you’ve entered No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear I am not afraid but the sensation is like being afraid The same fluttering in the stomach the same restlessness the yawning I keep on swallowing At other times it feels like being mildly drunk or concussed There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and meYes that’s it exactly The feeling of being concussed I remember standing in the receiving line at Paul’s wake for nearly five hours and feeling something that can only be described as palpable nothingness Everything was sad and hard and vivid you will never forget the image of young people seeing a young person in a coffin never but it didn't really touch me There was a layer between myself and the world I felt like I was observing everything from a distant planet It might be a survival mechanism this inward retreat the way that veins constrict when your body is too cold Of course you are not an observer and you must at some point interact rejoin the flow of humanity An odd byproduct of my loss is that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet At work at the club in the street I see people as they approach me trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not I hate it if they do and if they don’tNothing can help you Nothing except the miracle that isn’t going to happen But grief isn’t logical so you lash out You expect too much even though you know in your heart that nothing would really feel right Others sense that and they don’t know how to approach you It’s awkward Some over emote Others under emote Some pity you Others are ready to move on five minutes after the funeral I had one friend who managed to do nothing He was a good college buddy a groomsman in my wedding yet I never heard a thing Not a phone call text email or raven Based on his Facebook posts he must have been too busy home brewing For a short span I felt an irrational anger towards home brewing That has mostly passed People do try though Even though they don’t know what you want and even though you don’t know what you want And that is a blessed thing This very human need to try It reminded me of the movie Bang the Drum Slowly when Henry tells Bruce “Everybody knows everybody is dying that’s why people are as good as they are” Friends who brought meals and groceries Who watched our kids Who weren’t afraid to stop by even though death is a frightening thing treated by some like a communicable disease you can avoid by ignoring it You can’t by the way Employers gave us time off Coworkers covered our projects Maybe the worst part is the people with whom you must associate but who don’t know your loss You can’t tell them because it’s over sharing But by not telling them it feels like withholding a terrible secret That’s when you start to see the utility in mourning clothes Or just a simple black band around your arm that whispers I am among you but not a part of you You have to go on So they say You have to go on except now it is a lonelier place this life At first I was very afraid of going to places where H and I had been happy – our favorite pub our favorite wood But I decided to do it at once like sending a pilot up again as soon as possible after he’s had a crash Unexpectedly it makes no difference Her absence is no emphatic in those place than anywhere else It’s not local at allHer absence is like the sky spread over everythingThat’s the way of it You cannot escape it Anywhere you go Leave it to Lewis to find the simplest most perfect way to describe it Even at my best I’ll quickly snap back to this new reality I think a thousand times a day Paul would’ve liked this An absence like the sky spread over everything This is a book heavy on spirituality This isn’t surprising given its provenance To his credit Lewis’s faith never wavered He gives you an extended discussion about belief but one that exists within an interesting paradigm Lewis you see never doubted God’s existence Rather his dialectic attempts to identify the kind of God that rules above His assumption about God’s very existence is comforting I didn't mind these sections of A Grief Observed though it’s not what I was seeking I saw what Lewis was doing as he wrote them he was trying to keep sane by intellectualizing the process It probably helped him to retreat back into what he knew I don’t buy any of what he’s selling though If we’re being honest I have my proof about God On the day Paul died I prayed for him to be saved and then I prayed to die and both prayers went unanswered It’s almost empirical at this point That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate faith I do I see how it has literally saved some of the people around me It has provided the comfort the hope the solace that one needs to keep going And that’s without mentioning how important the Church community has been to my wife’s family It is an inspiring and jaw dropping thing to see such generosity Humans are really at their best during the worst You think you know what matters But you can’t really know the value of abstractions such as love family friends community until you are called upon to need it In The Godfather Mario Puzo’s Don Corleone says to a supplicant “If you had built up a wall of friendships you wouldn’t have to ask me to help” He’s right Live your life so that when you die your wake lasts for hours and everyone has a story to tell Live your life in such a way that when things go wrong you are surrounded by a wall of love Paul loved Kurt Vonnegut So here’s Vonnegut’s advice “God damn it you’ve got to be kind” It will pay off in the end Lewis didn't set out to write an advice book A Grief Observed is not going to show you the pathway out of despair There are no pithy aphorisms In this slim volume the size of a pamphlet Lewis is honest enough to depict his own troubling doubts This is one of the things I’m afraid of The agonies the mad midnight moments must in the course of nature die away But what will follow? Just this apathy this dead flatness? Will there come a time when I no longer ask why the world is like a mean street because I shall take the squalor as normal? Does grief finally subside into boredom tinged by faint nausea?Hard questions without good answers I feel like I’ve joined a club A horrible club I call it “the Other People Club” For membership something bad has to happen to you – something that would normally happen to other people I take solace in Paul It’s a cliché to say that so and so would “want this” or “want that” I also think it can be true When you know and love someone you know what they would say in a situation what they would think You can know and love someone enough that they are there even when they are not I don’t think Paul would want us all to be unhappy to view the world as a “mean street” He loved life too much All of life’s lessons come too late to avoid the loss that is the lesson Vonnegut again from A Man Without a Country “I urge you to please notice when you are happy and exclaim or murmur or think at some point 'If this isn't nice I don't know what is’” It’s obvious that we should live like that But the sham and drudgery of daily existence makes it hard Morning commutes Internet comment boards Work deadlines The barista who gave you coffee instead of a double shot of whatever All the little things that loom so large until you get that wakeup call that says that never really mattered at all Of course I am the king of sweating the small stuff On my first day back from work I went into the courtroom and within a minute the judge was screaming at my client screaming at me and finally screaming at my client again for reasons that still elude me Normally this would’ve destroyed me I would’ve brooded for days This didn't touch me at all As I left the courtroom one of my colleagues gave me a big smile and whispered “Welcome back” I laughed until I nearly cried All grief is in its own way the same There are many reasons why this book is so valuable It gives voice to what you are feeling It shows you that you are not alone It gets you through an hour or two and that hour or two is important when time has stopped I leave you where I started with my condolences I wish you the courage to endure what is to come I wish you strength for the road ahead And if there is a god I pray that god goes with you