Death leaves us feeling flat and thinking the world mean. Lewis knew it, but Joy's passing made it real and in full color. He questions in the third chapter of A Grief Observed what kind of faith he had, and, if, "my house has collapsed at one blow." He calls his faith a house of cards - more imagination than true faith. "If I really cared, as I thought I did, about the sorrows of the world, I should not have been so overwhelmed when my sorrow came," he says.
Doctrine says it's the latter, and Lewis is inching closer to a place where theology and grief will again see each other, eye-to-eye. But, as Lewis points out, it's all the more difficult when it's not you and it's about another person and their pain.
"But oh God," says Lewis, "tenderly, tenderly. Already, month by month and week by week you broke her body on the wheel whilst she still wore it. Is it not yet enough?"
It's not enough. "The more we believe that God hurts only to heal," Lewis says, "the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness."
And isn't this suggestive of his holiness and Truth? Because if the bet could be altered and the "money on the game" would give us an out, then the pain would be pointless. Lewis compares God to a dentist and suggests that God's goodness does not negate the decay inside of us and his need to alleviate it.
Chapter three ends this way: "They say, 'The coward dies many times'; so does the beloved. Didn't the eagle find a fresh liver to tear in Prometheus every time it dined?