To anyone who has ever suffered a loss: a comfort. To anyone dealing with any stage of grief: a companion. This classic book by C.S. Lewis approaches the loss of a loved one in a way that comforts, listens, hurts, holds, and cries with the reader. In his mind-numbing grief, Lewis chokes out the words to somehow enunciate his agony over the loss of a loved one - the loss of his loved one - even when his emotions rob him of words and the breath to form them.
In all of his floundering to communicate, what comes across is a beautifully painful account of his journey through grief; the musings of an influential man brought down to the same base level as any other individual. His expression is truly humbling. How often do we look at these famous, shining people as other and out-there and unaffected? Apart from "the rest of us"?
And how often are we all of a sudden proven so wrong?
To be able to relate so deeply to someone seemingly so far out of reach has an entirely humbling effect. In the shadow of sorrow and grief over loss, I would hug this book to my chest and read it time and time again, in search of comfort. Sometimes all the comfort we need is someone who listens and understands, and A Grief Observed is akin to that, without the ability of interrupting or claiming that your feelings are not right or valid.
It is so easy to dismiss someone's pain as lesser and to compare it to our own in a cruel way of diminishing their experience, and in doing so, do exactly the opposite of comfort them. Lewis would not - could not - do anything of the sort.
A Grief Observed is something like a heartfelt guide through different stages of grief, guaranteed to carry you through, step by step, as the author himself undergoes each.
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