Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Grief Observed Book Review

A Grief ObservedA Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"but somehow neither his learning nor his experiences had ever prepared him for the combination of both the great love and the great loss which is its counterpoint ."

"And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. It gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness."

A Grief Observed is a powerful record of the thoughts and emotions experienced by C.S. Lewis after his wife's death , it was written not to be published , its a diary in which one of the best writers had poured his mixed feelings and opinions after a shock , its not a memoir , not a look from the present to the grief that the writer once had , this book is a record of the real time , that's why it feels so personal , so touching , it was first published as a Pseudonym and I've read somewhere that Lewis friends had actually recommended it to him to aid him in his sorrow .

what I loved the most about this book is that inspite of the fact that its a book about "Grief" it still felt more thoughtful and profoundly understanding than just sad . as much as a biography of the grief for the loss of a loved one , it is an exploration of faith and love .

I think its really brave and brutally honest of Lewis to step away from pretense and confess all of his doubts, fears and the anger he felt toward God , the way he described his faith to must have always been but a house of cards that got destroyed by a mere blow, after writing many books about faith and being one of the greatest Christian literary figures of the twentieth century .One would definitely not expect him to struggle with doubt. It gives the reader quite an understanding of how fragile a human can be in the state of extreme pain , but then fragile also is more capable of a reform . "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief."
I was watching an episode of the first season of House MD. TV show when his patient , a sister , Mary Augustien told him "You can't be angry with God and not believe in Him at the same time. No one can." this applies to the story here , By the end of the collection, Lewis ends in quite a different place, a very great journey to have occurred in his heart , Lewis has examined and re-built his faith . so indeed our faith maybe : a house of cards, until God knocks it down and calls us to build a real house on a stronger base .

and like Joy’s last words to the chaplain, Lewis is at peace with God . “Poi si torno all’ eternal fontana,” / " then she returned to the eternal fountain " ends the book. which i just searched and its an Italian quote from Dante. its a powerful way to end a book , even hopeful , he means that things are far greater than just "life" . He interprets that dying is in fact a "returning" or a "continuing" of what has always been.

The important thing is that we do not know. It is not in the realm of proof. It is in the realm of love.


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