Saturday, June 9, 2012
Book Reflections: A Grief Observed
A Grief Observed
I just finished another of one of C.S. Lewis' masterpieces. This short book is one which he probably would have preferred not to write, but it helped him cope with the loss of his wife, and he hopes others who are grieving will also find his experience and words consoling. I found this book to be a very interesting look inside the mind of a person who was going through an intense time of grieving. There is a very touching and personal introduction by C.S. Lewis' stepson which provides good background for the book. Early on in the book, the author was going through many unsettling emotions. His grief he found to be like fear or suspense. The man of faith even began to question everything including God. I believe that his thoughts were tormenting him more than any other person or thing. Sometimes his expectations and thoughts were completely irrational; such as he didn't want people to talk about his grief but also didn't want them to ignore it. In the end, he began to heal and his sorrow although never completely gone was at least a little less intense. He correctly observed that sorrow is not a state but a process. It is natural for us to go through times of grief and sorrow, but we must not let sorrow consume us. Strong faith and hope in God is the best medicine. This is a book I would recommend to any person who is grieving or for anyone who knows someone close to them who is grieving. We may never fully understand what another human being is feeling, but at least we can better understand and have a little more compassion and sympathy. For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially the loss of a child, I also recommend reading A Gathering of Angels: Seeking Healing After an Infant's Death. May the peace of God's grace and love fill the hearts of all those who are grieving.