This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
Dear Friends: I know how impossible it is to silence your grief with words. The heart pleads for utterance in tears, and let it speak thus. We bow in sorrow at the taking of our little one, feeling that while the ripened fruit may be gathered, it is unkind that the bud should be taken before it has even opportunity to unfold into blossom. But in nature fruits fall, and so do blossoms and buds. In the ways of kind nature this is perhaps best, and in the taking from our arms this little one we accept the cross and bear it, believing that the bud will yet blossom and bear fruit in the angel-land whither the spirit of this little one has so early flown.
Perhaps it is best that this child's life on earth went out so soon. With the trials that meet struggling human-kind on every side, with the sorrows that line the pathway from childhood to old age, who can contemplate the passing of an innocent soul thus into the beautiful beyond without feeling that possibly our loss is to this young soul a great gain.
We do not fully know the future life. It is well that we should not. It is best that we rest content on earth until we are called to go. A cloud is therefore wisely placed between this life and eternity, through which we may not see; but we may hope, and we do hope with a belief that becomes an absolute faith, that the sun is radiantly shining beyond this portal called death, and into a beautiful sunshine, with glad arms to welcome our little one, our child has been taken and is now amid the pleasures and the beauties that await the pure and the innocent in the hereafter.
Parents, kindred, friends - very beautifully has Longfellow pictured the sunny future of this child, so early taken from us, as he asks that we accept our loss in Resignation.
There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there ! There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair!
The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead; The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,
Will not be comforted!
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise, But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps, What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers
May be heaven's distant lamps.
There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.
She is not dead, - the child of our affection, - But gone unto the school
In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led, Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,
She lives, whom we call dead.
Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air; Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,
Behold her grown more fair.
Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives, Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,
May reach her where she lives.
Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For, when with raptures wild In our embraces we again enfold her,
She will not be a child, -
But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace; And beautiful with all the soul's expansion
Shall we behold her face.
And though at times, impetuous with emotion
That cannot be at rest, -
We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay; By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
The grief that must have way.