Able to take one last trip together, Jack and Joy went to Greece in April of 1960. Joy’s health continued to deteriorate and, on July 13, she died at the age of 45. She left behind two sons: Douglas and David.
Inconsolable, Jack Lewis turned to the activity he could count on to help him think through the difficult issues of life: his writing. Pouring out his anguish on paper, he created a book that has comforted millions for nearly five decades: A Grief Observed.
Not wanting anyone to feel sorry for him, he did not publish the book under his own name. When a colleague recognized the style of writing as Jack’s, he acknowledged ownership of the book. One can only wonder if he ever thought his anguish would help so many people deal with their own pain.
Jack lived three years longer than Joy. He died at nearly the exact moment (5:30 p.m. London time) that President Kennedy was shot in Dallas (November 22, 1963). Jack was buried in his church graveyard at Holy Trinity in Headington Quarry, Oxford.
Had he lived another week, he would have been 65 years old. His Will named two friends who would administer his estate. Warnie, his brother, lived another 10 years.