July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO JOHN GEORGE COOKE ; 21 December 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18581221-JWC-JGCO-01; CL 34: 251


5 Cheyne Row Chelsea Tuesday [21 December 1858]

Oh my dear, kind Friend—what a shock for you! And what a loss!—the loss of one's Mother!1— You can hardly realize it yet; so suddenly and softly it has befallen; but I doubt if there be any other loss in Life equal to it; so irreplaceable, so all pervading!— And the consolation given one, that it is a loss “in the course of Nature,” and “common to all who live long,2 only makes it the sadder; to my thought. Yes; the longer one lives in this hard world Motherless, the more a Mother's loss makes itself felt—the better understood—the more tenderly and self-reproachfully one thinks back over the time when one had her, and thought so little of it! It is sixteen years since my Mother died3—as unexpectedly—and not a day, not an hour has passed since, that I have not missed her—have not felt the world colder and blanker for want of her—

But that is no comfort to offer you!

Come tomorrow—I shall certainly be at home and shall take care to be alone— I feel very grateful to you—very—for liking to come to me at such a time of trouble.

Yours affectionately—

Jane W Carlyle