[Boston—Thursday, 16 December 1869]
Dec. 16. Celia Thaxter passed the mid day full of “sweetness and light” a much abused expression but most true in all simplicity it applied to her. She has had an experience at her island this year. A girl in consumption was brought there by her parents in the month of March, that month which is usually most solitary there and upon which Celia had counted to finish her story of the Island which will now forever remain unfinished according to the idea she once held before herself although the papers as they stand are most lovely. They did not like to have the sick girl come for Celia’s mother said justly, there is nobody but you to take care of her, however their kindness got the better of them, she came, her parents were utterly incapable and Celia literally cared for her in every way and the girl died in her arms. “As the soul passed from behind the wide eyes it seemed as if I must follow it, just a little way; and now I have no longer any fear of death since I have seen that girl go! If anybody had told me two years since that I could take a dead body in my arms, carry it from the bed to the table, close the eyes and straighten the limbs all by myself with no more feeling than if it had been a little bird, I could not have believed it. Yet I did all that, and with just that feeling.”
I never saw a clearer gift than hers. Sunshine is her portion, one fearfully wanted in this low-spirited world. I was reminded however of what somebody has said, about low spirits not always being a sign of ill health, but high spirits are of good health. She is wonderfully strong and well.