Following this, Lewis -- who puts himself into the story in the first person -- has a conversation with his Teacher who has come out of deep heaven to meet him: George MacDonald. Lewis asks MacDonald whether he could actually relate what he had just learned to a mother who had lost a child.
"But could one dare -- could one have the face -- to go to a bereaved mother, in her misery -- when one's not bereaved oneself?..."
And MacDonald replies,
"No, no, Son, that's no office of yours. You're not a good enough man for that. When your own heart's been broken it will be time for you to think of talking."
Now how can anyone familiar with Lewis's life read this and not immediately think of his marriage to Joy Davidman, her death to cancer, and Lewis's subsequent book A Grief Observed? I can't be the first person to notice this, it's been leaping out at me for as long as I've been reading The Great Divorce.
Now I titled this post a prophecy, but I think if it's not just a coincidence, it may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don't mean by this that Lewis orchestrated his own heartbreak, I just mean that he was fully aware of this passage that he wrote, so perhaps when he saw his heartbreak approaching, he may have consciously fulfilled this passage by taking notes on his grief. That's essentially what A Grief Observed is.