A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’ account of the grief he experienced when his wife, Joy, died after a four-year marriage. His grief experience seriously challenged his faith, which he didn’t expect. He realised that his faith was largely intellectual.

Lewis’ grief seems intensified because of the brevity of his marriage. He probably didn’t expect to ever marry. When he met his future wife, he was 58 years old. He saw Joy as a great friend and his intellectual equal. She was also 17 years his junior. Initially, they married so she could remain in England and it was only when she became ill that Lewis realised the depth of his love for her.

The book was originally published under a pseudonym and republished under Lewis’ name after his death. Throughout the book, he refers to his wife as H. because her name was actually Helen Joy.

The book is a collection of Lewis’ journal entries. They show a progression of thoughts covering grief, anger, questioning, through to acceptance. I’ll list a few quotes next Friday.

Lewis expands his observations beyond grief to suffering in general and makes the case that a good God must have good reasons to allow suffering.

A helpful and insightful read.