Lament for a Son
Well-known Christian philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff has authored many books that have contributed significantly to scholarship in several subjects. In Lament for a Son he writes not as a scholar but as a loving father grieving the loss of his son.
In brief vignettes Wolterstorff explores with a moving honesty and intensity, all the facets of his experience of this irreversible loss. Though he grieves "not as one who has no hope," he finds no comfort in the pious-sounding phrases that would diminish the malevolence of death.
The book is in one sense a narrative account of events—from the numbing telephone call on a sunny Sunday afternoon that tells of 25-year-old Eric's death in a mountain-climbing accident, to a graveside visit a year later. But the book is far more than narrative. Every event is an occasion for remembering, for meditating, for Job-like anguish in the struggle to accept and understand.
A profoundly faith-affirming book, Lament for a Son gives eloquent expression to a grief that is at once unique and universal—a grief for an individual, irreplaceable person. Though it is an intensely personal book, Wolterstorff decided to publish it, he says, "in the hope that it will be of help to some of those who find themselves with us in the company of mourners."