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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A classic work on grief, A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moments,” A Grief Observed an unflinchingly truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.
A Grief Observed is a collection of Lewis's reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, in 1960. The book was first published under the pseudonym N.W. Clerk as Lewis wished to avoid identification as the author. Though republished in 1963 after his death under his own name, the text still refers to his wife as "H" (her first name, which she rarely used, was Helen). The book is compiled from the four notebooks which Lewis used to vent and explore his grief. He illustrates the everyday trials of his life without Joy and explores fundamental questions of faith and theodicy. Lewis's step-son (Joy's son) Douglas Gresham points out in his 1994 introduction that the indefinite article 'a' in the title makes it clear that Lewis's grief is not the quintessential grief experience at the loss of a loved one, but one individual's perspective among countless others. The book helped inspire a 1985 television movie Shadowlands, as well as a 1993 film of the same name. Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, lay theologian and Christian apologist. He is best known for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
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.
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.
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.
A volume comparable in style to Cliff's Notes, here highlighting the key points from C. S. Lewis's' The Problem of Pain and A Grief Observed.
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