Devotional 07/17/2017by Terry Trainor on 07/17/17
This is to all who have lost a loved one. It is part of a letter Plutarch wrote to his wife when he was informed of the death of their daughter.
“Let us bear our affliction with patience. I do know very well what a loss we have had; but, if you should grieve overmuch, it would trouble me still more. She was particularly dear to you; and when you call to mind how bright and innocent she was, how amiable and mild, then your grief must be particularly bitter. For not only was she kind and generous to other children, but even to her very playthings.
“But should the sweet remembrance of those things which so delighted us when she was alive only afflict us now, when she is dead? Or is there danger that, if we cease to mourn, we shall forget her? But since she gave us so much pleasure while we had her, so ought we to cherish her memory, and make that memory a glad rather than a sorrowful one. And such reasons as we would use with others, let us try to make effective with ourselves. And as we put a limit to all riotous indulgence in our pleasures, so let us also check the excessive flow of our grief. It is well, both in action and dress, to shrink from an over-display of mourning, as well as to be modest and unassuming on festal occasions.
Let us call to mind the years before our little daughter was born. We are now in the same condition as then, except that the time she was with us is to be counted as an added blessing. Let us not ungratefully accuse Fortune for what was given us, because we could not also have all that we desired. What we had, and while we had it, was good, though now we have it no longer.
Remember also how much of good you still possess. Because one page of your book is blotted, do not forget all the other leaves whose reading is fair and whose pictures are beautiful. We should not be like misers, who never enjoy what they have, but only bewail what they lose.
And since she is gone where she feels no pain, let us not indulge in too much grief. The soul is incapable of death. And she, like a bird not long enough in her cage to become attached to it, is free to fly away to a purer air. For, when children die, their souls go at once to a better and a divine state. Since we cherish a trust like this, let our outward actions be in accord with it, and let us keep our hearts pure and our minds calm.”