The Valpo Core Reader

Document Type

Life and Death Essay

Publication Date



No one can ever be prepared for the grief that follows the loss of a loved one. In the first line of a book which covers the very personal thoughts of a man who has just lost the love of his life, one finds a statement which helps to define some of the very reasons grief is so difficult. The first thing C. S. Lewis says in A Grief Observed is that ''No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear'' (Lewis, 1). Not only did he expect to know how grief was going to feel, but he thought the feeling was probably the same for everyone, such that one person could describe it for another without any loss of understanding. This shows a common misunderstanding in human nature: the thought that one should know what to expect from grief. One thinks he or she should be prepared and informed. Humans learn from each other and anticipate griefto be another human experience that they watch others handle and in this way think they will be prepared.