“Why Am I Robbed, And Who is Benefited?” Mark Twain on Child Loss

I only recently came across this quote by Mark Twain.   

It’s from a letter he wrote to a close friend after his favorite daughter, Susy, aged 24, died of meningitis while her parents were abroad. 

It is heartbreaking and utterly perfect.  

You have seen our whole voyage.  You have seen us go to sea, a cloud of sail-and the flag at the peak; and you see us now, chartless, adrift-derelicts; battered, water-logged, our sails a ruck of rags, our pride gone.  For it is gone.  And there is nothing in its place.

The vanity of life was all we had, and there is no more vanity left in us.  We are even ashamed of that we had; ashamed that we trusted the promises of life and builded high-to come to this!

I did know that Susy was part of us; I did not know that she could go away; I did not now that she could go away, and take our lives with her, yet leave our dull bodies behind.

And I did not know what she was.  To me she was but treasure in the bank; the amount known, the need to look at it daily, handle it, weigh it, count it, realize it, not necessary; and now that I would do it, it is to late; they tell me it is not there, has vanished away in a night, the bank is broken, my fortune is gone, I am a pauper.

How am I to comprehend this?  How am I to have it?  Why am I robbed, and who is benefited?mark

He and his wife never returned to the home where she died.

there is no at least in child loss

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

8 thoughts on ““Why Am I Robbed, And Who is Benefited?” Mark Twain on Child Loss”

  1. There is no…. at least
    I am reminded of many years ago when Luke first fell in love at the age of fourteen. The parent of his girlfriend took them away for the weekend without our knowlege or permission. Naturally we were distraught. I commented to the girlfriend what if there had been a fatal accident and that her mother would have felt the same had it been the other way around….to which the reply had been..”but you have two more children, my mum only had me”
    As if I could spare one!
    There is no…at least

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We just found out on Mother’s Day that a tree had been planted in memory of our daughter, Kelsi. It was planted in Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. This makes this location even more special. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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