A Grief Observed

2 December 2006

C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed is quite different from most of his other works. It is a thoroughly honest recording of his thoughts about the death of his wife. Whereas Lewis carefully argued for the compatibility of suffering and a loving God in The Problem of Pain, he never claimed that his arguments and philosophical thinking would be any comfort for the actual suffering a person may experience. A Grief Observed reveals this to be the case- Lewis finds himself doubting God (mostly doubting His goodness) because of his tremendous grief.

The book is composed of four short chapters, and you can easily see changes in his demeanor and ways of thinking throughout the short book. By the end, Lewis seems to have regained a level of confidence in his faith, although he was shook to the core by the death of his wife.

For me, the book was a strange read, and I had little ability to relate to Lewis. I have not experienced such a tragic loss yet, though there is little doubt that one day, this book will connect with me on a deeper level. However, as to whether or not this short book offers a good source of comfort to those who have suffered a great loss, I cannot say. Yet, if you want to see C.S. Lewis at his most human, most honest moments, then A Grief Observed is the book to read.




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