Letter - Ethelwyn Wetherald to "Frank",
MetadataShow full item record
The letter to Frank discusses the hardship of the loss of her brother Herbert, it reads: "Dear Frank, Your sympathy and that of dear Elsie, was a real comfort to me in the hardest trial I have had to face. The feeling that has pursued me ever since the tragedy that all life is concentrated in one black mental picture intensified by every passing train and that all else is mere chattering and muttering - this feeling is beginning to give way to a sense of right proportion and a gradual return to the normal. Everyone has been most kind. Here is a case in point: At the inquest the jury brought in a verdict of suicide. But Mr. ------, a lwayer in Welland, demurred. 'Oh no", he said, "no, when a man of sound mind deliberately decides to destroy himself- that is suicide. But this is a case of irresponsible actions. No more guilt attaches to the victim than if he were a two-year-old child, straying ignorantly on the railway track.' Was it that the very kindest thing that could have been? The heavy sense of loss and the merciless publicity have been hard to bear, but I have many happy memories - Herbert never said an unkind word to one in his life, nor gave me an unkind look. When he turned against everyone else he clung to me - my poor boy! The night before he left us he seemed quieter than usual and I stopped beside his chair on my way to bed and said 'Good night, Herbert' He gave me a look of full recognition (a rare experience) put my hand against his cheek and said 'Good night, Agnes, good night, good night.' I kissed him and went on up to bed. I never saw him again; for I could not look at his dreadfully disfigured face and head. Dear Jean and Margaret have been most kind. They were here last Friday and we had such a pleasant evening together. So many letters keep coming everyday. Some from complete strangers with a few words of keen sympathy. For the first time in many years I have no nervous invalid to care for; nothing to dread; no wakeful nights of apprehension and distress. Already I feel the benefit of relief from anxiety. I gained three pounds last week. Do forgive all this about myself. It is a relief to write it. And believe me, Sincerely your friend, Ethelwyn Wetherald"