THOUGHTS ON “A GRIEF OBSERVED” BY C.S. LEWIS

Have you read C.S. Lewis’s A GRIEF OBSERVED? The Copyright 1961, Restored 1996 C.S.Lewis Pte.Ltd. version from HarperSanFranciscoZondervanPublishingHouse, with the eighteen page Forward by Madeleine L’Engle plus the thirteen page Introduction by Douglas H. Gresham? The book itself is seventy six pages, and stands very well on its own, so I can only surmise that the extraneous words of L’Engle and Gresham were employed to flesh it out for publishing purposes. Though lovely, they were not needed.
For you see, as pointed out in one of the leads, the writing is about A grief, HIS grief at the death of His beloved; HIS sadness, HIS questions, HIS look askance at God and God’s motives. The forward compares his grief over his dearheart to her grief over hers; and the intro weaves that writer’s loss for his mother into the overview. One cannot review another’s grief without it calling up one’s own it seems.  True enough for me.
Illness and death and despair and loneliness and sorrow and screaming anger and silent tears along with hysterical laughter over freshly remembered events visit us all. The words that stick in your throat at that unexpected moment, stick for everyone. The body of this book in and of itself invites a quiet, earnest conversation, a tete a tete over a good single malt scotch, a warm fire, or a lanquid lean against comfortable hot boulder set against the end of the trail to your favorite peak. It is small enough to carry in a pack. I suppose you could read it on your phone, if you are more modernly practical, or you’ve an aversion to print. It is hardly earth shattering, nor does it call out for loud marketing and applause like his MERE CHRISTIANITY, which I’ve read, or CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, which I have not. It is just an observation, just as its title suggests; just a share. Maybe at some point in your journey you’ll give it a read. It is worth it.
rJo Herman
4/3/2020

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