Letters of Note: Grief

In Letters of Note: Grief, Shaun Usher gathers together some of the most powerful messages about grief, from the heart-wrenching pain of losing a loved one to reliving the warm and funny moments. Includes letters by Audre Lorde, Robert Frost, Nick Cave, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Kahlil Gibran, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, Edith Wharton,

2021

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Letters

God be with you

On September 29th, 1918, months before the end of World War I, a freshly assigned physician at Camp Devens military base in Massachusetts wrote the following letter to a friend and fellow doctor, and described a terrifying influenza epidemic that was now killing hundreds of his camp’s soldiers each day. The death toll in this

How the hell have you done it?

On April 18th of 1961, it was announced that iconic Hollywood star Gary Cooper was dying of cancer after a glittering 36 year career that saw him amass countless fans, plaudits, and awards across the globe. Weeks after that news broke, and just days before he died, Cooper received the following fan letter from Kirk Douglas,

There is no danger down here

On October 31st, 1918, as the First World War neared its end, celebrated war poet and officer of the Second Manchesters Wilfred Owen wrote home to his mother. Sadly, this would be his last letter. Four days later–exactly a century ago–Owen was shot dead as he led his company across the Sambre–Oise Canal. His mother

It’s the trip of a lifetime

In the early hours of July 21st, 1969, shortly after the Apollo Lunar Module landed on its surface, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on the Moon. 28 years later, Buzz wrote a letter to Barry Goldman, a professor at the University of Maryland. Transcript follows. (Many thanks to