Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 2:44 AM
Book Review: A Greif Observed
After reading this book, it's hard for me to use my usual third person style of writing, so I won't. I actually read this book due to the fact I forgot the Four Loves in a friends truck over the weekend and didn't have anything else to read. I decide which books to read according to what part of my life deserves most improvement at the time, almost in an effort to make all faucets of my life more rewarding. I didn't feel Grief Observed needed any immediate attention, but I bought it anyways to put it aside to read at a later date. This work of Lewis gives a easy to read conversation or account of what went through Lewis' head after the loss of his wife. In the introduction there's a short point about how much less of a loss it was b/c Lewis' had only been married for a few short years and there was an expectation of death from the onset. It's not that the author of the introduction really believes this to be true, but that might be the initial reaction by reader who first sets out on this expedition exploring the thoughts of a living widower. Which actually is quite an excellent introduction, b/c the theme of initial reactions and questions of those dealing with grieving pains is repeated throughout the rest of the book. A little more than a year ago, I had lost my own grandfather, who I was very close to and due to my nature started probing alot of different questions as to the true nature of life and the nature of God. I shortly went back to the old christian faith i've always felt to be true, despite the onslaught of questions I found at the time to be unanswerable. Although many turn to this christian book during a time of loss, I find it comforting well after a time of loss and perhaps, unthinkably, before another time of loss. I think death is simply unnatural for the soul to endure, and it sends a shock wave throughout our souls that touches at one point or another every emotion that we know. It's not that any book can really quite implosion or pain that death of dearly loved ones brings to us, but it's helps us cope with the aftermath to know that we're not the only person in the world who has these terrible thoughts about God, about life, and in time, things will be right again, as they have always been. Even, during out painful moments. Of course, many of the things talked about in the book I even now shy away from discussing due to the fear of preaching blasphemy. Which is what makes it so unique, to hear a strong minded faithful christian showing a very vulnerable side (one many refuse to admit to having) about God, and then in time with understanding and writing with great clarity explains how not everything is to be completely understand, but that means we simply aren't always asking sensible questions.
When we try to ask other questions like "Can I meet H. again only if I learn to love you so much that I don't care whether I meet her or not?" God just simply smiles at us, not b/c he doesn't have an answer, but that we simply have such little understanding of the whole truth of reality. Lewis' ask "Is yellow square or round" "How many hours in a mile" as examples of how mortals can ask unanswerable questions, in which our true show of intelligence is betrayed.
A Grief Observed is simply a journal. A journal of man dealing with a great loss. A very unique journal dealing with a very unique person and circumstance. The most striking part though is the similarities shown in the thoughts of every person during these nightmarish times.