Lament for a son is book written by Nicholas Wolterstorff, who is mourning the premature death of his son Eric who passed away in a mountain climbing accident in Austria. Nicholas Wolterstorff is an American philosopher and currently the Noah Porter Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University. He is a writer with philosophical and theological interests. He has written books on aesthetics, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophy of education. His book Lament for a son was written to honor his son. The book is full of anecdotes and stories about the death of his son to give voice to his grief. He writes the book with true emotions and stories to inspire others who are going to loss.
The book starts off by the author getting a phone call that his 25-year-old son died in a mountain climbing accident. He takes off to go to Kufstein to claim Eric's body but the undertakes advises him to not see the body as it was scratched and mutilated by the accident. The author questioned why Eric was climbing alone but he knew that Eric preferred solitude over the chatter of the people he didn’t know when his friends were unavailable. The question on why did this happen still bothered him.
In Eric’s apartment his father found notes by his friends who had visited him that said that they had never seen him so enthusiastic and he was doing practice climbs to prepare himself for climbing the marathon with his friends in the summer. This gets him wondering if it’s harder to deal to the death of a son who was full of life and energy versus if he died weak and tired of a disease. He wonders if it would have been easier if goodbyes had been said. However, he then realizes that each death is unique. Wolterstoff says, “And one child’s death differs from another not in intensity of the pain it causes but in the quality” (24). He tells his family that Eric is gone and that they should learn how to live on