Bertha’s Grave

The following tale appeared in an old volume of forgotten maritime lore.  Its author, the indefatigable historian Edward R. Snow, relates that he first heard in as a young man in Bristol, England.  He frankly notes the difficulty of substantiating its details, but suggests that, like many sea-yarns, it may contain the seeds of actual events.  The story remains, in any case, a powerful allegory of love, loss, and commitment.  The setting is the Isle of Wight.  The time is the end of the seventeenth century.

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Coping With The Loss Of A Child (Podcast)

In this podcast, we discuss a serious subject. A reader explains that his family has just lost a young child, and he is searching for advice on how to deal with this calamity. I offer some suggestions drawn from Plutarch’s letter of consolation to his wife on the death of his two-year-old daughter Timoxena. We also discuss anecdotes from other sources (e.g., Cicero’s views on grief, the life of P.T. Barnum, etc.), and my own personal experiences. Fiat voluntas tua.

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