May 19, 1889
My dear Fanny-
The old Pilgrim is safely landed at last. Your aged Grandmother passed away to be with the Lord on Friday last, 10th, at ½ past 9 in the evening. She had been ill ever since Xmas Eve, off & on, her mind nearly always wandering & for the last month we expected her death nearly every day, yet at last it came suddenly. She had been sleeping all day but at 9 asked to have her bed made. We got her out with difficulty as she was very helpless that night. I said "this will be the last time" - truly, for as soon as we got her back she seemed faint but took some brandy & milk, then asked for a small shawl for her throat, she placed it round, crossed it & asked for a pin but when the pin was brought the hand fell - the head too & with a few breaths she was gone - so easily & peacefully we did not know when the last breath came. It was a very merciful release for she had suffered much for some time from weakness & general discomfort - not pain except the last week from pain at the heart - but that had ceased for two days & she had slept all the time. She was not afraid to die for she knew in whom she believed, but she had a great horror of the last act of dying & the Lord graciously spared her that for she did not know she was dying & was gone like an infant on its mother's breast going to sleep. How true it is "precious in the Lord's sight is the death of his saints". We bury her with your Grandfather on Tuesday. I & Maggie, Edward & Arthur will take her up to London & see her poor old worn-out body laid in the grave.
Her small income she has left to me & your Aunt Fanny but as I am provided for by my late dear Husband I gave it all up to your Aunt, as she is poor and has had a sad life of privations; she will therefore now be more comfortable than she has been for years, which is a great comfort to me.
April 1st. We laid your grandmother in the grave and had a look at your Grandfather's coffin which was put in 21 years ago & it is as sound as when first put in. His Sarah, whom he so loved, is now with him in the Glory and their mortal remains are together. I felt very satisfied to see them at last in one grave. I took a bad cold though & have been ill ever since, that is why this has been delayed. I could only go out once after which[?] in London & then I went to the occulist as my eyes have failed me much this summer. He tells me that I have cataract of both eyes & one is to be operated on next week when I return to London for that purpose. If I gain my sight again it will be like a new life to me as I have [had] difficulty in seeing for years. I have been very busy since my return clearing out Grandma's room & packing her things off to Aunt Fanny. Grandma never spent much on herself & most of her things are like herself - worn out, but what there is goes to Aunt Fanny by her wish.
We miss her very much as she was the one in the house whom it was everybody's business to look after - she could never be left - must be read to & cared for like a baby. So now we feel as if we had nothing to do - but we shall soon fill up our time for ours is a very busy life & we are all the happier for it.
I have a card for your brother but I must look up the letter for his address & send it tomorrow. I hope you are all well - Is Anita married yet? My close brethren all - I like to hear how they are coming on. There is one other old lady left - Aunt Sophia is 81 years old - when she dies the family will have passed away. That is your Grandfather's family. There is one old lady, a widow of Grandpa's brother & she is the only one left in that family, but there are some Holts in America & we fancy they must belong to us, for Great-Grandfather Holt's brother went to America & was never heard of again. There was money wanting an heir advertised some years ago, but we had no means of proving title to it. Well, well, it does not much matter - in a little time we shall no more need the silver or the gold - but shall be fully satisfied without it.
Now with love from your cousins & myself
Your loving Aunt