A Grief Observed Paperback – 2 May 2013
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis, repackaged for the first time in a generation, is a classic and much-loved work on grief, loss, and solace.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
C.S. Lewis was a confirmed bachelor (not that he was a 'confirmed bachelor', mind you, just that he had become set enough in his ways over time that he no longer held out the prospect of marriage or relationships). Then, into his comfortable existence, a special woman, Joy Davidson, arrived. They fell in love quickly, and had a brief marriage of only a few years, when Joy died of cancer.
This left Lewis inconsolable.
For his mother had also died of cancer, when he was very young.
Cancer, cancer, cancer!
Lewis goes through a dramatic period of grief, from which he never truly recovers (according to the essayist Chad Walsh, who writes a postscript to Lewis' book). He died a few years later, the same day as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
However, Lewis takes the wonderful and dramatic step of writing down his grief to share with others. The fits and starts, the anger, the reconciliation, the pain--all is laid bare for the reader to experience. So high a cost for insight is what true spirituality requires. An awful, awe-ful cost and experience.
'Did you know, dear, how much you took away with you when you left? You have stripped me even of my past...'
All that was good paled in comparison to the loss. How can anything be good again? This is such an honest human feeling, that even the past is no longer what is was in relation to the new reality of being alone again.
In the end, Lewis reaches a bit of a reconciliation with his feelings, and with God.Read more ›
To understand this particular struggle, one must understand the love Lewis has lost in the death of his wife. Theirs was a short but meaningful union, one begun as a friendship that only later, after the vows were taken, moved into a love known only by true partners. Rather than modern day reversals - in which lust is too often mistaken for love, and a friendship often does not enter the union at all, and so quickly crumbling without basis to build upon - this couple has the order right. Only true friends can blossom into love. Love grows from the intimacy of knowledge of another being, and this is what this couple has enjoyed, why the one left behind now knows such immense grief. Lewis's grief is deep and now resonates for the remainder of his own life as a constant companion where his wife once was.
Few can express in words so well what, in some variation, all of us feel. Lewis is a master with words. His bring healing - to himself, and to those of us who many years later are still graced with his words in our own struggles of loss.
"The act of living is different all through.Read more ›
I don't think it should be reserved only for grieving people, however, just that the writings have more significance if you are in a similar mindset. The discussions about God and Heaven should not put you off because it is just those things which are debated and puzzled over. Lewis is in no way at all preaching personal or wider Christian beliefs.
The writing is honest - frequently he reflects on what he has just put down and disagrees with it, or rethinks it. Overall it is an affecting and very humane essay (I would call it that, not novel or anything). It is a slim volume and a quick read, but one to keep on the shelf always.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Since I was dealing with grief I thought this would be a good option... And it was. Lewis is raw taking about how he feels. His anger, his pain, everything.
An amazing book. Read more
A classic of its kind. You may find this helpful if you are struggling with bereavement and finding it hard to make sense.Published 1 month ago by ll
In this book Lewis gives a frank and honest account of how he dealt with his grief following the death of his wife Joy Davidman. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dale Lodge
This book was worth reading . it did not help me with my grief.Published 1 month ago by isobel mc quade
Having found myself in the middle of tragedy I turned to Lewis to find wisdom and I received more than I'd hoped. Read morePublished 2 months ago by George Osborn