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Priscilla Tolkien, 26 Nov 1963

‘this feels like an axe-blow near the roots.’

Dearest, 

Thank you so much for your letter…So far I have felt the normal feelings of a man of my age – like an old tree that is losing all its leaves one by one: this feels like an axe-blow near the roots. Very sad that we should have been so separated in the last years; but our time of close communion endured in memory for both of us. I had a mass said this morning, and was there, and served; and Havard and Dundas Grant were present. The funeral at Holy Trinity, the Headington Quarry church, which Jack attended, was quiet and attended only by intimates and some Magdalen people including the President. Austin Farrer read the lesson. The grave is under a larch in the corner of the church-yard. Douglas (Gresham) was the only ‘family’ mourner. Warnie was not present, alas! I saw Owen Barfield, George Sayer and John Lawlor (a good mark to him), among others. Chris. came with us. There will be an official memorial service in Magdalen on Saturday at 2.15pm. 

It was very sweet of you my dearest to write…

God bless you.

Daddy.