In 1848, Charlotte Bronte's sister, Emily, died from tuberculosis; she was just 30 years old. A few days after her death, Charlotte wrote to her publisher.
December 25th, 1848.Read more at Letters of Note
My dear Sir,—I will write to you more at length when my heart can find a little rest—now I can only thank you very briefly for your letter, which seemed to me eloquent in its sincerity.
Emily is nowhere here now, her wasted mortal remains are taken out of the house. We have laid her cherished head under the church aisle beside my mother’s, my two sisters’—dead long ago—and my poor, hapless brother’s. But a small remnant of the race is left—so my poor father thinks.
Well, the loss is ours, not hers, and some sad comfort I take, as I hear the wind blow and feel the cutting keenness of the frost, in knowing that the elements bring her no more suffering; their severity cannot reach her grave; her fever is quieted, her restlessness soothed, her deep, hollow cough is hushed for ever; we do not hear it in the night nor listen for it in the morning; we have not the conflict of the strangely strong spirit and the fragile frame before us—relentless conflict—once seen, never to be forgotten. A dreary calm reigns round us, in the midst of which we seek resignation.