A Grief Observed

If you follow me on GoodReads, you know I just started A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis. I haven’t gotten but maybe halfway through so far, and it’s not a very big book (like 75 pages), but I thoroughly enjoy his writing. The more I read of his work, the more I love him.

At least in my edition, I don’t know if the foreword written by Lewis’ stepson is in other editions, but in mine, he writes about viewing Lewis’ grief and what kind of man and woman these two parental figures were for him. Between that and Lewis’ actual writing, his (C. S. Lewis) love for Mrs. Lewis was so real and inspiring.

I am a romantic, I guess.

Mrs. Lewis had cancer and she had a long battle with it. I can only imagine the grief he went through at her loss and why he wrote these many words in a journal that would later become a popular published work.

Thinking about how much he loved Helen Joy and given the time period of the first half of the 20th century, I just thought, what if she had been born later? What if they had been around closer to our modern day? She could have fought this cancer and had a better chance of survival. C. S. Lewis could have been saved this grief, at least for a while.

Then I think of my own Dad. Just a few years ago, he unexpectedly got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when he was already in the hospital and never went home (to the earthly one). It was too late. The latest technology couldn’t do much at that point. We needed a miracle. Those were the facts.

I’m continually reminded in small ways that God has a plan for all things, no matter how bad they are to experience or how unfair it seems to us (since ya know, we don’t know all that much, like Him). Though I would have loved now for Lewis to be without this great grief of his beloved wife, God had a plan that brought us this great work straight out of the same grief. In my own life, I’m able to share my own experience with grief and commiserate with those who go through similar losses.

God knows what He’s allowing – how that has the opportunity to spring forth growth out of the tears, heartache and dependence on Him.

I don’t want grief and I don’t want that for anyone else, but if we must go through it, I hope that we each find hope in Jesus Christ, strength in God’s constant presence, and peace with the circumstances that surpasses understanding.

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