i read “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis last night

i read A Grief Observed  by C.S. Lewis last night.

i love how he writes! i’ve only read a few of his books:Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, The Great Divorce, and The Chronicles of Narnia. all are amazing books, but all are fiction. A Grief Observed is definitely NOT!

i was moved by it because his rawness, anger, and questions are all ones that, if we were honest with ourselves, we have all had.

would i recommend it? I’M NOT SURE!

it is a very real look at what those who have suffered the loss of a loved one feels like. it is also a very real look at the anger, mourning, thoughtfulness, and turning points that are involved in grieving.

so why am in unsure? because of those same things. 

at one point he writes this:

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”



Lewis met his wife as an older man. she was already sick when they met, and they fell in love and married knowing that the time was short.

if you know me in real life, you know that my dad and i were estranged for many years before reconciling. i spent way to much time being mad at him…way to many years hating a man who wasn’t worthy of such things! when he moved to the town i live in a few years ago, there was a time of transition for us. a time of re-acquaintance. a time of getting to know each other after so many years of not.

Lewis talks at one point about how mad he is at God for bringing his wife into his life only to take her away again. how he didn’t want to love her, but fell madly anyway.

 “Oh God, God, why did you take such trouble to force this creature out of its shell if it is now doomed to crawl back — to be sucked back — into it?”

and sadly that is one of the thoughts i’m battling right now. i was fine, content, satisfied with the anger.


but i know Abba had a plan! that HE KNEW that Dad was sick way before we did. that this cancer has been with him for years, just hiding it’s ugly little head.

yet, ABBA knew that there was a story that needed healing! and it was ours.

our “why” will be answered when Abba answers it. And we will all stand amazed, knowing that His reason made sense all along. Guessing does nothing good. If we believe that we serve a Good and Loving God, then we MUST also believe that He ALWAYS has our best in mind.


and i think that reason is going to sound something like this:



“Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it.”




4 thoughts on “i read “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis last night

  1. I’ve read this book a few times. The first was when I was going through my divorce. The book has so many feelings that I think people who grew up in the church are afraid to admit. Fear. Pain. Anger with God. This is a wonderful book to look at those things and analyze them in truth. The quote you mentioned, “House of Cards”, is by far my favorite from this book. The idea that our trials are not God testing us to determine our worth, but are meant for us to see our own.

    The last thing I’ll add for you is to the “but why” question. Whenever I find myself asking the “Why” while in the midst of confusion or trials, I hang on to Deut 29:29. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” When I feel lost and wondering, I remember this verse and realize my strength and obedience comes from the things God has revealed to me. And if God ever decides to bring me into the light on my confusion or trials, it will be because I need to know to follow him closer. Until then, those secrets belong to Him for a very good reason.

    The end. Wonderful insights into “Grief.” I may have to read it again.

  2. Shannon,
    I’m glad I found your blog…I went on to Twitter using your handle, which you left on my blog and I eventually found your new blog URL 🙂 I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I can see why you can see parallels between your story and C.S. Lewis…We don’t know why but I am grateful you came at the end of your post to knowing God loves you and your dad and is redeeming your story…I read A Grief Observed many years ago…it reminds me of a lament in the Psalms…where the psalmist honestly pours out all his grief, anger and questions and yet at the end, says I trust you God and I know you are good or something along those lines or says, “Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, yes, wait for the Lord…”

    Sorry for the long reply…If we met in person, I would simply give you a big hug and listen to you talk, and hopefully, keep my mouth shut…((Hugs))…Praying God comforts you and your father and gives you His presence in this trial.

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