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By C. S. Lewis
During this vintage trial of religion, C. S. Lewis probes the elemental problems with lifestyles and loss of life, and summons those that grieve to sincere mourning and wish in the middle of loss.
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Edited and translated via Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong
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Finally, if reality at its very root is so meaningless to us—or, putting it the other way round, if we are such total imbeciles—what is the point of trying to think either about God or about anything else? This knot comes undone when you try to pull it tight. Why do I make room in my mind for such filth and nonsense? Do I hope that if feeling disguises itself as thought I shall feel less? Aren’t all these notes the senseless writhings of a man who won’t accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it?
Merely confirm the monotonous, tread-mill march of the mind round one subject? But what am I to do? I must have some drug, and reading isn’t a strong enough drug now. —no: one thought in a hundred) I believe I get a little outside it. That’s how I’d defend it to H. But ten to one she’d see a hole in the defence. It isn’t only the boys either. An odd byproduct of my loss is that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not.
It is all right to wallow in one’s journal; it is a way of getting rid of self-pity and self-indulgence and self-centeredness. What we work out in our journals we don’t take out on family and friends. I am grateful to Lewis for the honesty of his journal of grief, because it makes quite clear that the human being is allowed to grieve, that it is normal, it is right to grieve, and the Christian is not denied this natural response to loss. And Lewis asks questions that we all ask: where do those we love go when they die?
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis