Les rêveries du retraité solitaire

Les rêveries du retraité solitaire

Letter from My Grandmother to Her Aunts in England in 1912

"Brooklands" Maria, PQ

 

March 20th, 1912

 

Dear afflicted Aunt, 

 

The sad message bearing the most formidable news of the death of your deeply regretted brother and our much bereaved grandfather has left you unconsolable, I know, as it has left every one of his children and we grand children, but knowing fully well that an aching heart likes to receive a few words of consolation, some which can alleviate the pains to be endured, I hasten to come and sympathize with you both on the grievous misfortune befallen on you and your dear ones who are much distressed at the loss of our dear grandfather whose presence we appreciated so much especially these last years as he so often repeated his welcomed visits to our home.  We have always proved ourselves faithful and kind to our deeply mourned grandfather and in this hour of distress why should we not be the first to place balm into the grieved heart of his only remaining ones of his family, who, I know, constantly sob on his departure. Yes, my dearest of Aunts, we can weep over the tomb and in memory of this departed one; it is but proper and legitimate that we should do so, but we must be resigned and accept this great separation for it is God's will and we must be ready to submit to it and with as much courage as our regretted grandfather did submit to it and bore his intense sufferings with such an unlike patience which was a sure way to acquire the harbour of refuge where we all hope he is now enjoying eternal bliss. 

 

Dear Aunts, you will be very grieved hearing how this heavy loss has left our dear father sad and thoughtful, he was always so kind and considerate to his deceased father that his absence is almost unbearable.  Father was so delighted that his beloved father pleased himself visiting us several times a day especially since his suffering had begun.  Father and each one of us often imagine that we see our bereaved one arriving to us, ready to open his heart and crying, tell us that he sees his end nearing but after a few consoling words of our part, he would take courage and forget these sad thoughts and then talk on different subjects.  It is unrealizable for us to think that this pleasure of receiving him with open arms is over, and that we will be looking for him but always in vain.  All that remains to do is to pray for the repose of his soul and to visit his tomb.  Dear father was too affected to be able to go to the old home after his dear one's death which took place Sunday after Mass; his sorrow is more than what can be explained as his dear regretted father had been so familiar with him in their last entertainments which took place three weeks ago. Grandfather had asked him to return again and so he did but unhappily dear Grandmother altogether prevented him from doing so while dear grandfather had yet the strength to speak and enjoy father's presence, and I am sure this is a sad thought to our dear father, his last words to father were then and they were: " may God bless you and yours and come tomorrow night if I am still alive", are they not forever   to be remembered and well considered.  Like we often told you on letters we made our daily visits till the end and we will still continue to visit our dear grandmother as often as time and things will permit. 

 

Every afternoon last week two of us had the happiness to say the Rosary near grandfather at the door of his room joined by Father Gagné, Grandmother and the nurse    and this was according to the sick man's desires and Dear Aunts we will never forget his last looks on us especially on Saturday, the eve of his death, when Ellen and I, his two eldest grandchildren were kneeling near his deathbed. How could we forget those last tender fatherly looks! 

 

Father sent a message to dear John on Monday morning and we are sure it will be a trying news for him but may God bless him and solace him; like all of us he has to submit and pray that we may all die in the same peaceful manner in which our bereft grandfather expired. Mother, Emily, Frances and myself assisted at the funeral mass and dear Ellen remained at the house with dear father who told us he felt too oppressed to follow the last ceremonies.  Dear Aunt Ellen is much alarmed, mother and myself took courage and tried to comfort her but being the only daughter of a loved father it is sad for her to bear his departure. And dear Uncle David what a misfortune for him to be so far at such a sad happening. 

 

Dear Frances and Mary came with us to pray near the remains of our bereft one and how pitiful it was to them. 

Be assured Dear Aunts that numerous will be our prayers and Communions for your much regretted brother, that God may give him eternal rest, and that you Dear Aunts that you may be comforted, enjoy good health, and long peaceful days may be afforded you, though peace in England as elsewhere seems to be entirely put aside on account of all the numerous strifes. 

 

By yesterday's mail father and Ellen received your welcome letters with contents, and are very thankful to you and so are Emily and myself, do accept mine which I reiterate more and more.  It is a great help to us, that is to father, and a token that we are never forgotten.  Dear Aunts how will we be able to return you in the least all your kindness. 

 

Father, Mother, Ellen and Emily will write you these days sympathizing with you both and in the ____ thanking you.  Here I reiterate mine and promise you to write often.  Closing my note I once again enclose my humble sentiments of condolence and sympathy for the heavy loss. To these permit me to join my love and heartfelt gratitude and believe me to be, afflicted and beloved Aunts. 

 

Your faithful and grieved great niece

 

 

Dora

 



11/04/2016
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