For people who have lost a spouse, I recommend they read A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. First published in 1961, there is a new review of the book in the Guardian by Lettie Ransley
A Grief Observed by CS Lewis CS Lewis's meditation on the death of his wife is a powerful record of raw emotion
At the time, CS Lewis described his marriage in 1956 to the American poet Helen ("H") Joy Davidman as "a pure matter of friendship and expediency", primarily intended to keep her and her two sons in the country; a confirmed bachelor, he later wrote: "I never expected to have, in my 60s, the happiness that passed me by in my 20s." But Joy was already ill, and their relationship was conducted in the shadow of cancer: for Lewis the four years following their wedding brought intensely personal experiences both of the miraculous, and of despair.Posted by Jill Fallon at August 20, 2013 12:04 AM | Permalink
The ferocious and uncanting intellect that thrived in love denies Lewis the traditional consolations of mourning: he is tormented by the thought that suffering in life offers no guarantee of peace in death; that the mere act of remembering is one of overwriting – his own selective memories falling "like the small flakes that come when it is going to snow all night".
"Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness," Lewis reflects.
By turns elegant and raw, A Grief Observed is a powerful record of thought and emotion experienced in real time, and as much the biography of a love as it is an exploration of grief and faith.