A Grief Observed

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.
The book helped inspire a 1985 television movie, Shadowlands, as well as a 1993 film of the same name.


Read or listen to A Grief Observed

by C. S. Lewis