[Julia Merrill Moores]
[Rough draft of letter of Muir - folder marked "J.M. letter to Mrs. Moores on death of her sister Kate."]
To Julia Merrill Moores
My dear friends.
I scarce need say that I have been with you and mourned with you every day since your blessed sister was called away, and wished I could do something to help and comfort you. Before your letter came I had already commenced to write the memorial words you ask for, and I'll send them soon.
Her beautiful, noble, helpful life on earth was complete, and had she lived a thousand years she would still have been mourned, the more the longer she stayed. Death is as natural as life, sorrow as joy. Through pain and death come all our blessings, life and immortality.
However clear our faith and hope and love, we must suffer-but with glorious compensation. While death separates, it unites, and the sense of loneliness grows less and less as we become accustomed to the new light, communing with those who have gone on ahead in spirit, and feeling their influence as if again present in the flesh. Your own experience tells you this, however. The Source of all Good turns even sorrow and seeming separation to our advantage, makes us better, drawing us closer together in love, enlarging, strengthening, brightening our views of the spirit world and our hopes of immortal union. Blessed it is to know and feel, even at this cost, that neither distance or death can truly separate those who love.
My friends, whether living Or dead, have always been with me in my so-called lonely wanderings, so kind and wonderful are God's compensations. Few, dear friends, have greater cause for sorrow, or greater cause for joy, than you have. Your sister lives in a thousand hearts, and her influence, pure as sunshine and dew can never be lost.
How bright a ray of light in the gloom is the good news about Janet. God bless you and comfort you; I am sure he will. Read again and again those blessed words, ever old, ever new: "Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercy" - who pities you "like as a father pitieth his children, for he knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust. Man's days are as grass, as a flower of the field the wind passeth over it and it is gone, but the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting."
In His strength we must live on, work on, doing the good that comes to heart and hand, looking forward to meeting in that City which the streams of the River of Life make glad.
Ever your loving friend,
Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 21 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Julia Merrill Moores], [1900 Jul 25]." (1900). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4290.
Reel 11, Image 0281