Saturday, November 12, 2011

C.S. Lewis and Willaim Gresham - II

On April 6, 1957 Lewis wrote to Gresham:

Joy is far too ill to write and has asked me to answer yours of the 2nd. This is a ticklish job. If through clumsiness, in the effort to put things strongly, I sound like one who writes with animosity, believe me this is not so. I think there has never been any ill-feeling between you and me, and I very much hope there never will be.

…Now, bitterly against their [David and Douglas] will on top of the most appalling tragedy that can happen to childhood (I went through it and know), tearing them from all that has already become familiar and shattering all sense of security that remains to them, it would be disastrous. If you realized the cruelty of what you are proposing to do, [forcing David and Douglas to live with him in American after Joy’s death] I am sure you would not do it.

If you do not relent, I shall of course be obliged to place every legal obstacle in your way, Joy has, legally, a case…You have a chance of recovering at some future date, instead of alienating for ever, the love and respect of your children. For God’s sake take it and yield to the deep wishes of everyone concerned except yourself…

As a reminder, all excerpts from Lewis’s letters are from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis (Three Volumes), edited by Walter Hooper and published by Harper San Francisco.

I share this letter for the same reasons I shared the letter in the previous post; and my feelings in sharing it are the same. I don’t think there is any more I have to say about these letters except that they remind me that we all have pain in our lives.

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