On Grief

Even the eternal optimist within… Thomas Jefferson was dragged down to earth by loss.  Behind the iconic image was a man who loved deeply and lost nearly everyone dear to him.  Despite the pain, Jefferson remained optimistic, immersing himself in books and his correspondence.  He told his friend John Adams;

“You ask if I would agree to live my 70. or rather 73. years over again?  To which I say Yea.  I think with you that it is a good world on the whole, that it has been framed on a principle of benevolence, and more pleasure than pain dealt out to us.”

Tugging at his enlightened nature… was the depression that followed the loss of his loved ones.  Jefferson pondered the concept of grief to Adams;

“I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended.  All our other passions, within proper bounds, have a useful object.”

Jefferson outlived his wife and all but one… of their children.  The thought of living out his days alone terrified him;

“This morning between 8 & 9. a clock my dear daughter Maria Eppes died…. My evening prospects now hang on the slender thread of a single life. Perhaps I may be destined to see even this last chord of parental affection broken!”

Sadness and reflections....

Sadness and reflections….

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3 Comments

Filed under Ephemera

3 responses to “On Grief

  1. Jane

    Jefferson was outlived by five children–three sons and two daughters, one daughter by Martha Jefferson and four children by Sally Hemings, his wife’s half-sister. Jefferson had no cause to worry that he would out-live all of his children.

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