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4.5 out of 5 stars
172
4.5 out of 5 stars
A Grief Observed
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 15 July 2017
A glimpse into how grief can affect us. I found CS Lewis questions with regards his loss and how he remains faithful was reassuring as I found myself asking similar questions when presented with the loss of a young family member. I found reading this book worthwhile, God's love for us remains steadfast and sure through all circumstances.
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on 11 October 2017
Helpful though a little heavy on the religious aspect. This to be expected knowing Lewis's background. Grief is very individual and his experience having married someone already having been diagnosed with cancer was different from mine as I had been married 34 years and the cancer was the bolt from the blue for my husband and I. Lewis showed a different kind of courage than most bereaved people need but nevertheless was a consoling read.
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on 16 March 2017
This is just one of the best books I have read - I got this copy to give to a friend...
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on 3 April 2017
Hit the nail on the head
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on 3 March 2017
I love this book. So helpful in dark days.
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on 18 July 2017
Very helpful little book for those who are going through the grief of losing a loved one - especially a spouse.
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on 4 November 2017
It resonates with my own feelings about my late wife. My life as it was died soon after she passed away.
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on 22 February 2011
A must read for anyone dealing with a death. CS lewis is, as usual, brilliant in an honest review of his grief after his wifes death.
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on 13 August 2016
I have a problem with CS Lewis. As a child, I tried the Narnia books, but got no further than a few pages. As an adult I tried again, reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, out loud to my son, but we did not get much further. I’m with Philip Pullman; I cannot get past the smug religiosity.
My grandfather had the same attitude as Lewis. Non-believers are believers without realising it. They will realise it when they are older and wiser; at the very latest, the penny will drop on their deathbeds. If they are not, then they living with no moral base in their lives and so they must be bad. Fifty years later, I am still not old and wise, although not yet quite on my deathbed.
So I approached A Grief Observed with caution. What could be the harm? It was only short, less than an afternoon’s reading, but if I got to the end of its 64 pages, then that would be further into any CS Lewis book than I had previously managed.
I am glad I took the chance. The book is a simply wonderful piece of writing. It even touches on religious doubt, although like the Hollywood movie where the bad guy gets the upper hand in the last reel, I am not sure I ever doubted that good would triumph in the end.
The book purports to be notes written in four previously unused notebooks that Lewis found to hand immediately after the death of his wife. The theory is that he stopped writing the day the fourth notebook was filled up. I do not know how true to the facts this is and to what extent the notes were “written up” prior to publication, but the book works as a perfect whole. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.
In fact it follows the so called five stages of bereavement surprisingly closely. I do not mean in a formulaic way; Lewis is a better writer than that. But you can sense the denial, feel the anger, and follow the bargaining and depression, leading up to the beginnings of acceptance. Of course, as bereavement counsellors will tell you, these stages are not linear; the bereaved can spiral back and forward through them many times. Lewis takes us through these cycles, often dwelling on his anger and sometimes surprising himself at his ability to recover.
In 64 pages, Lewis takes us through his own personal grief from initial shock and denial to the early shoots of acceptance. The prose is crystal clear throughout and at no point sinks into self-indulgence. It was not intended as a guide, merely as an illustration of one man coping with his grief. However, I cannot imagine that it would not help other people coping with bereavement, especially believers.
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on 17 July 2012
Having recently lost my lover I was recommended this book early on but my grief was still too raw for me to contemplate reading about someone else's loss. Several months on now I have bought and read the book and have re-read it three times back to back and am keeping it by my bed probably for weeks to come. It's honesty is powerful and brave. It is a real comfort to me to see my own pain described and my own consolations played back to me. This loss is the first real loss I have suffered of someone to whom I was very close and the path of grief was an unknown way. Reading this book has brought me the relief of recognising that my experience is shared by others, that the repetitive cycles while trying are perfectly normal, that sorrow is a process not a state, that it's OK to continue to love him and celebrate what we had, and that I am recovering. It is a book for people with faith. I recommend it highly and hope others will find it as helpful as I have.
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