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Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: "Nothing will shake a man -- or at any rate a man like me -- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself." This is a beautiful and unflinchingly homest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.
A classic work on grief, A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moments,” A Grief Observed an unflinchingly truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.
A Grief Observed comprises the reflections of the great scholar and Christian on the death of his wife after only a few short years of marriage. Painfully honest in its dissection of his thoughts and feelings, this is a book that details his paralysing grief, bewilderment and sense of loss in simple and moving prose. Invaluable as an insight into the grieving process just as much as it is as an exploration of religious doubt, A Grief Observed will continue to offer its consoling insights to a huge range of readers, as it has for over fifty years. 'A classic of the genre, a literary answer to the pain of loss.' Robert McCrum
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
Book A Buddhist Grief Observed Description/Summary:
Amid the world-shattering pain of loss, what helps? “After the death of his beloved partner from cancer, Newland finds himself asking how effective his long years of Buddhist practice have been in helping him come to terms with overwhelming grief. This finely written book offers a lucid meditation on what it means to practice the Dharma when everything falls apart.” —Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism without Beliefs and After Buddhism In the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, Guy Newland offers this brave record of falling to pieces and then learning to make sense of his pain and grief within his spiritual tradition. Drawing inspiration from all corners of the Buddhist world—from Dogen and the Dalai Lama, to Pema Chödrön and ancient Pali texts—this book reverberates with honesty, kindness, and deep humanity. Newland shows us the power of responding fully and authentically to the death of a loved one. “A sad, beautiful, and necessary book—and a map waiting for many who will need it.” —James Ishmael Ford, author of If You’re Lucky Your Heart Will Break “Guy Newland faces squarely the pain of death and the pain of grief and offers a work of uncommon power, insight, and honesty—and extraordinary compassion.” —Jay L. Garfield, author of Engaging Buddhism
In April 1956, C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, married Joy Davidman, an American poet with two small children. After four intensely happy years, Davidman died of cancer and Lewis found himself alone again, and inconsolable. In response, he wrote this journal, freely confessing his pain, rage, and struggle to sustain his faith. In it he finds the way back to life. Now a modern classic, A Grief Observed has offered solace and insight to countless readers worldwide. This new edition includes the original text of A Grief Observed alongside specially commissioned responses to the book and its themes from respected contemporary writers and thinkers: Hilary Mantel, Jessica Martin, Jenna Bailey, Rowan Williams, Kate Saunders, Francis Spufford and Maureen Freely.
Book A Mother's Grief Observed Description/Summary:
Rebecca Faber learned about grief when her toddler son drowned in the family pool. She offers you her experience in the hope that it can help you is your journey toward a God whose love is indeed stronger than death.
Book Everything Happens for a Reason Description/Summary:
A divinity professor and young mother diagnosed with Stage IV cancer shares her perspectives on friendship, love, and death while describing her efforts to remain true to her faith in spite of impossible hardships.
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel about loss and recovery, pierced throughout with her humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles. Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron grew up fending off a sister who constantly wanted to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead—in their house, on the roadway, in the market—help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually, Aaron discovers that maybe for this beginner there is indeed a way to say goodbye. “Like a modern Jane Austen, Tyler creates small worlds [depicting] the intimate bonds of friendship and family.”—USA Today “An absolute charmer of a novel . . . With sparkling prose . . . [Anne] Tyler gets at the beating heart of what it means to lose someone, to say goodbye.”—The Boston Globe “Classic Tyler . . . The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage.”—Los Angeles Times “Beautifully intricate . . . By the exquisitely romantic emotional climax [an] ordinary life has bloomed into an opera.”—Entertainment Weekly
Becoming a widow is one of the most traumatic life events that a woman can experience. Yet, as this remarkable new collection reveals, each woman responds to that trauma differently. Here, forty-three widows tell their stories, in their own words. Some were widowed young, while others were married for decades. Some cared for their late partners through long terminal illnesses, while others lost their partners suddenly. Some had male partners, while others had female partners. Yet each of these women faced the same basic dilemma: how to go on living when a part of you is gone. Widows’ Words is arranged chronologically, starting with stories of women preparing for their partners’ deaths, followed by the experiences of recent widows still reeling from their fresh loss, and culminating in the accounts of women who lost their partners many years ago but still experience waves of grief. Their accounts deal honestly with feelings of pain, sorrow, and despair, and yet there are also powerful expressions of strength, hope, and even joy. Whether you are a widow yourself or have simply experienced loss, you will be sure to find something moving and profound in these diverse tales of mourning, remembrance, and resilience.
Why must humanity suffer? In this elegant and thoughtful work, C. S. Lewis questions the pain and suffering that occur everyday and how this contrasts with the notion of a God that is both omnipotent and good. An answer to this critical theological problem is found within these pages.
Book The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics Description/Summary:
Seven Spiritual Masterworks by C. S. Lewis This classic collection includes C. S. Lewis's most important spiritual works: Mere Christianity The Screwtape Letters The Great Divorce The Problem of Pain Miracles A Grief Observed The Abolition of Man
Book C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity Description/Summary:
The life and times of C. S. Lewis's modern spiritual classic Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis's eloquent defense of the Christian faith, originated as a series of BBC radio talks broadcast during the dark days of World War Two. Here is the story of the extraordinary life and afterlife of this influential and inspiring book. George Marsden describes how Lewis gradually went from being an atheist to a committed Anglican—famously converting to Christianity in 1931 after conversing into the night with his friends J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugh Dyson—and how his plainspoken case for Christianity went on to become one of the most beloved spiritual books of all time.
“A lush Narnia tale for grownups”: The first comprehensive biography of the rebel thinker who married C. S. Lewis (Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize winner). If Joy Davidman is known at all, it’s as the wife of C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia. On her own, she was a poet and radical, a contributor to the communist journal New Masses, and an active member of New York literary circles of the 1930s and ’40s. Growing up in a family of Jewish immigrants in the Bronx, she became an atheist, then a practitioner of Dianetics, and finally a Christian convert after experiencing a moment of transcendent grace. She was also a mother, a novelist, a screenwriter, and an intelligent, difficult, and determined woman. In 1952 she set off for England to pursue C. S. Lewis, the man she considered her spiritual guide and her intellectual mentor. Out of a deep friendship grounded in faith, poetry, and a passion for writing grew a timeless love story, and an unforgettable marriage of equals—one that would be immortalized in the film Shadowlands and Lewis’s memoir, A Grief Observed. “Plumbing the depths of unpublished documents, Santamaria reveals the vision and writing of a young woman whose coming of age in the turbulent thirties is both distinctive and emblematic of her time” (Susan Hertog, author of Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life). Finally, Joy Davidman is brought out of her husband’s shadow to secure a place in literary history that is both a long-time coming and well-deserved. “This book gives Davidman her life back. . . . Ms. Santamaria succeeds in de-mythologizing Davidman’s story.” —The Wall Street Journal “Compelling . . . clear, unsentimental.” — The New York Times Book Review
A Grief Observed is a collection of C. S. Lewis's reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, in 1960. The book was first published in 1961 under the pseudonym N.W. Clerk, as Lewis wished to avoid identification as the author. Though republished in 1963, after his death, under his own name, the text still refers to his wife as "H" (her first name, which she rarely used, was Helen).The book is compiled from the four notebooks used by Lewis to vent and explore his grief. He illustrates the everyday trials of his life without Joy and explores fundamental questions of faith and theodicy. Lewis' stepson (Joy's son) Douglas Gresham points out in his 1994 introduction that the indefinite article 'a' in the title makes it clear that Lewis' grief is not the quintessential grief experience at the loss of a loved one but rather one individual's perspective, among countless others
Book Grief Is the Thing with Feathers Description/Summary:
Here he is, husband and father, scruffy romantic, a shambolic scholar--a man adrift in the wake of his wife's sudden, accidental death. And there are his two sons who like him struggle in their London apartment to face the unbearable sadness that has engulfed them. The father imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness, while the boys wander, savage and unsupervised. In this moment of violent despair they are visited by Crow--antagonist, trickster, goad, protector, therapist, and babysitter. This self-described "sentimental bird," at once wild and tender, who "finds humans dull except in grief," threatens to stay with the wounded family until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss lessens with the balm of memories, Crow's efforts are rewarded and the little unit of three begins to recover: Dad resumes his book about the poet Ted Hughes; the boys get on with it, grow up. Part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter's extraordinary debut combines compassion and bravura style to dazzling effect. Full of angular wit and profound truths, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is a startlingly original and haunting debut by a significant new talent.
The recent rise of the New Atheism has aroused great general interest, thrown up questions of fundamental importance, and started a fascinating conversation. Why God Won't Go Away invites us to join in. The volume opens with a survey of the main ideas of the New Atheism, as expressed in the works of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. We then examine the core views of the movement closely, making due reference to its 'virtual community' of websites and blogs. Subjects explored include: whether religion is delusional and evil, the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, whether we should have faith only in what can be proved through reason and science, the idea that the best hope for humanity is a 'New Enlightenment' The result is a lively and highly thought-provoking volume that poses a number of interesting questions. Why is religion experiencing a resurgence in the twenty-first century, when we are meant to have grown out of such a primitive fixation? Has the New Atheism's fascination with rationality led to a fatal underestimation of the longing of the human heart to adore? And if, as Christopher Hitchens writes in exasperation, religion is 'ineradicable', doesn't this tiresome fact suggest that dismissing belief in God as irrational and unscientific might just be a waste of time?
Book Healing a Parent's Grieving Heart Description/Summary:
Presenting simple yet highly effective methods for coping and healing, this book provides answers and relief to parents trying to deal with the loss of a child. It offers 100 practical, action-oriented tips for embracing grief, such as writing a letter to the child who has died; spending time with others who will listen to stories of grief; creating a memory book, box, or Web site; and remembering others who may still be struggling with the death. The guide also addresses common problems for grieving parents, including dealing with marital stress, helping surviving siblings, dealing with hurtful advice, and exploring feelings of guilt. This compassionate resource will aid parents who have been through the death of a child—whether the passing happened recently or many years ago, whether the child was young or an adult.