A Grief Observed comprises the reflections of the great scholar and Christian on the death of his wife after only a few short years of marriage. Painfully honest in its dissection of his thoughts and feelings, this is a book that details his paralysing grief, bewilderment and sense of loss in simple and moving prose. Invaluable as an insight into the grieving process just as much as it is as an exploration of religious doubt, A Grief Observed will continue to offer its consoling insights to a huge range of readers, as it has for over fifty years. 'A classic of the genre, a literary answer to the pain of loss.' Robert McCrum
a grief observed
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6, C.S. Lewis, a confirmed bachelor, married Joy Davidman, an American poet with two small children. After four brief, intensely happy years, Lewis found himself alone again, and inconsolable. To defend himself against the loss of belief in God, Lewis wrote this journal, an eloquent statement of rediscovered faith. In it he freely confesses his doubts, his rage, and his awareness of human frailty. In it he finds again the way back to life.
In April 1956, C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, married Joy Davidman, an American poet with two small children. After four intensely happy years, Davidman died of cancer and Lewis found himself alone again, and inconsolable. In response, he wrote this journal, freely confessing his pain, rage, and struggle to sustain his faith. In it he finds the way back to life. Now a modern classic, A Grief Observed has offered solace and insight to countless readers worldwide. This new edition includes the original text of A Grief Observed alongside specially commissioned responses to the book and its themes from respected contemporary writers and thinkers: Hilary Mantel, Jessica Martin, Jenna Bailey, Rowan Williams, Kate Saunders, Francis Spufford and Maureen Freely.
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 me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
A Grief Observed is an intensely personal journey through loss, mourning, and ultimately recovery told in emotionally raw yet lushly literate poetry and art.
Lewis' feelings and musings about his wife's death were first published in 1961. Since then it has helped thousands and thousands of people who have read it or have spoken of its contents. This study is to encourage you to read the book in its entirety. It is to help you grapple with issues of grief that Lewis and all mankind struggles with in grief. It is to help you grapple with issues of grief that everyone faces in loss. Each page is designed to be a discussion session for a group or 5-12 students. Discuss the passage of A Grief Observed prior to delving into the questions. Allow each student to respond to the first question before going on to the next. Allow for more time if some student has difficulty understanding or answering the question. It is my hope that these will assist you in helping young people make sense of death(s) in their lives. This book was written to help teens in grief support groups. It is my hope it can be a help to you and others.
Amid the world-shattering pain of loss, what helps? “After the death of his beloved partner from cancer, Newland finds himself asking how effective his long years of Buddhist practice have been in helping him come to terms with overwhelming grief. This finely written book offers a lucid meditation on what it means to practice the Dharma when everything falls apart.” —Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism without Beliefs and After Buddhism In the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, Guy Newland offers this brave record of falling to pieces and then learning to make sense of his pain and grief within his spiritual tradition. Drawing inspiration from all corners of the Buddhist world—from Zen stories and the Dalai Lama, to Pema Chödrön and ancient Pali texts—this book reverberates with honesty, kindness, and deep humanity. Newland shows us the power of responding fully and authentically to the death of a loved one. “A sad, beautiful, and necessary book—and a map waiting for many who will need it.” —James Ishmael Ford, author of If You’re Lucky Your Heart Will Break “Guy Newland faces squarely the pain of death and the pain of grief and offers a work of uncommon power, insight, and honesty—and extraordinary compassion.” —Jay L. Garfield, author of Engaging Buddhism