Thursday, October 12, 2006

My response to Godfrey

Once more I turned to What Shall I Say? A Complete Letter-Writer for Every Occassion (c. 1900) for guidance on how to respond to the lawyer Godfrey Norton. I realised that we were now down to serious business - there was no room for anything but the gravest letter template. Leafing through that venerable tome, I found a blueprint for how to write a letter congratulating parents on the loss of their child, which I felt was the most apt and which really captured the gravity of the situation I found myself in. Here is what I wrote to Godfrey Norton:

Dear Mr. Norton,

The news has only just reached us that little Ethel has died of scrofula in the Cottage Hospital, and I am writing immediately on behalf of the whole family to offer you and Mrs. Norton all the condolences of true friendship. We feel for you most deeply in your terrible loss and grief, and if there is anything we can do at this sad time I do hope you will not hesitate to let me know. Could Walter come to me for a few days? I would look after him with the most loving care.
With the utmost sympathy from us all and trusting God may give you strength and fortitude,

I am, dear Mrs. Twiggs,
Yours affectionately,
Cynthia Long

I hope this shows our Godfrey Norton that I am someone to trust.

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