9th May 1916
My dear Betty
Your father has been pretty bright all day and at supper he gave us quite lively little accounts of his visits to Paris and his engagement. May and he visited your mother’s grave after supper. It was still light and they said some of the flowers are still fresh.
I had a nice letter from my mother. She sent a message of sympathy to you and said she still felt the loss of her own mother who died just after she was married and where she was not much older than you (I believe she was married before she was 19). She told you this to show she understands how you feel. I also had a very nice letter from Arthur. He appears to have been somewhat prepared for bad news by having seen your mother lately. He says, dear, that she has been spared much suffering as her condition would have become one of progressive dropsy and it would have been very distressing for her. So, dear little Betty, it would be selfish of us to wish her back, and you must try, and I am sure you have tried, to be happy in the thought she is at rest. You will always feel her influence and will have happy memories, without having seen her suffer for many months and you unable to relieve her discomfort. This is dear old Boo’s birthday – write to him as soon as you can, dear – the coming weeks will be fraught with sadness for him and he will look for letters. Goodnight, Betty dear, I hope you are feeling fairly bright and able to do your work. God bless you.
From your affectionate