From Marcel Proust's 1907 letter to his friend Georges de Lauris, regarding the recent death of his mother:
"Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her.
When you are used to this horrible thing, that she will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her rightful place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible.
Let yourself be inert, wait until the incomprehensible power ... that has broken you restores you a little, I say 'a little' because henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more."
*this translation I took mostly from the September 13 issue of the New Yorker, which has a really touching compilation of Roland Barthes' notes on mourning. I changed a few words of the translation after finding the original letter in French here.