One-minute review: On the death of their little daughter. “Above all, my dear, help us both preserve our customary composure in this affliction.
“But the dreadful thing which does so much mischief in these cases I need have no fear of—I mean the visits of silly women and their cries and the continuing lamentations by which they fan and whet grief and prevent it from abating….”
“Endeavor often to transpose yourself in imagination to the period when our child was not yet born, and yet we had no cause to reproach Fortune; And then consider that our present state is a continuation of that former period….”
“But the soul which remains in the body but a short span and is then liberated quickly recovers its natural form, for the constraint [the body] which was put upon it was but mild and gentle.”
“The soul is incorruptible and you must imagine that its experience is like that of a caged bird.”
“It [the soul] is made to pass the gates of death as quickly as possible, before it conceives too great a love for the things of this world….”
The Art of the Personal Essay. Ed. Phillip Lopate.
: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995. New York