Return to Book List

A Grief Observed
by C.S. Lewis (HarperSanFrancisco: New York, NY) [76 pages]
[Answer 7 of 10 questions correctly to receive 3 hours of Continuing Education credit.]

Introduction (p.xix-xxxi)
1. C.S. Lewis and his wife, Helen (“H”) Joy Gresham (born: Davidman), both came to faith in Christ by the “long and difficult road” of
a. hedonism to self-denial to Christianity.
b. relativism to absolutism to Christianity.
c. mythology to hero typology to Christianity.
d. atheism to agnosticism to theism to Christianity.

Chapter One (p. 3-16)
2. With regard to other people, the grieving author wanted
a. to be alone.
b. to talk with others about his loss.
c. to be around other people without having to talk to them.
d. to hear from them what they missed about Helen.

3. He found it difficult to do the simplest things like reading a letter or shaving in the morning. Lewis called this the _____ of grief.
a. carelessness
b. laziness
c. bitterness
d. moodiness

4. In his grief, Lewis questioned
a. whether or not God really existed.
b. why God seemed so distant.
c. why God the Father abandoned Christ the Son on the cross.
d. why his good marriage became a substitute for God.

Chapter Two (p. 17-34)
5. Which of the following truths brought comfort to C.S. Lewis?
a. “She will live forever in my memory.”
b. “She is happy now, and she is at peace.”
c. “She is in God’s hands.”
d. none of the above.

6. At some point in this chapter, Lewis tries to reason whether God is good or bad. Later, after reflecting upon his own argument, he concludes that
a. God is the great “Cosmic Sadist.”
b. even Christ, while He was on the cross, discovered that His Father was “horribly and infinitely different from what He had supposed.”
c. it is inconsistent for a good God to allow suffering and evil in this world.
d. his own “senseless writhings” are of a man who “won’t accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it.”

Chapter Three (p. 35-57)
7. In this chapter, Lewis reported feeling better. It came quite unexpectedly. He said that early one morning his “heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks.” He had slept well the night before, the weather was sunny after many days of grey skies, and he believed he was recovering from weeks of physical exhaustion. His attitude toward God was also changing. After questioning whether or not God was the “Cosmic Sadist” in Chapter Two, Lewis now views Him as
a. a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good.
b. the Eternal Vivisector.
c. a moderately good Being.
d. a God who is behind a door that is shut and bolted.

Lewis eventually concluded that bereavement was “not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pain as a necessary part of this phase.”

8. After her death, Lewis’ most vivid experiences of Helen came when
a. he was re-reading his personal journal.
b. he felt the least sorrowful, as when he took his morning bath.
c. he revisited their favorite places.
d. he missed her terribly.

Chapter Four (p. 59-76)
9. The author compares grief to
a. a circular trench where the sequence of grief repeats itself.
b. a strenuous journey over hills and deep valleys.
c. a long winding valley where any bend may reveal either a totally new landscape or a familiar one.
d. a stump recovering from the pain of amputation.

10. In reviewing his notes, Lewis observed that his writings had been about himself first, then Helen, and then God, “the order and the proportions exactly what they ought not to have been.” Lewis noted there was something missing and that he “must do more of this.” What was he referring to?
a. Praise
b. Confession
c. Meditation
d. Charity