My Grandmother & Grandfather

My Grandmother Dorothy Louise Humston passed this week.

I was honored to make brief remarks at her funeral.

I also chose to read the following extraordinary condolence letter that was written by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams upon Jefferson's hearing of the death of Adams' wife, Abigail.  The letter could have been written to my grandfather, Asa, upon the loss of his beloved friend, wife, and partner of 74+ years: 

MONTICELLO, November 13, 1818.

The public papers, my dear friend, announce the fatal event of which your letter of October the 20th had given me ominous foreboding.

Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medi­cine.

I will not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both, that the term is not very distant, at which we are to deposit in the same cerement, our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again.

God bless you and support you under your heavy affliction.

Th: Jefferson
— The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Volume: 15. Contributors: Andrew A. Lipscomb - editor, Albert Ellery Bergh - editor, Thomas Jefferson - author, Richard Holland Johnson - editor, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States