The death of Thomas of Bradfield and his wife Agnes            
From the extensive correspondence between their son Charles and his best friend Leo Amery.

News about my father is not very re-assuring. His case seems to have puzzled the doctors. They all said his weakness and diarrhea came from a weak heart. They all agreed his heart was very weak. However the local doctor felt something was wrong. He was getting no better, so we called in a Reading surgeon. He found a growth that he could just reach up his anus. This was the cause. As to the heart, he agreed it was weak but not dangerous. The surgeon said that all my father's in bed treatment was wrong. He was allowed to eat what he liked, come down when he liked, do what he liked. The word "growth" alarmed my mother. She knew the doctor's paraphrases and suspected cancer. If so it means death and a very painful one and soon.
Truly the stars on their courses fight against our family. One is inclined to ask all sorts of questions. Ought my mother to have come out to India? If she hadn't would she still be living? Could we have prevented her catching a cold? But no answer comes. I suppose in all cases of death, excepting incurable disease, one asks these polite questions. We can't fix the cold down to to my particular act of omission and directly we knew it was serious we had doctors and nurses galore. So one returns to where one started from. The stars fight against us. Our Oxford philosophy will carry us no further than that "All that lives must die". I don't and cannot think there is any beyond and if there is what difference can it make to my personal loss? However it isn't my loss that is so great. It is my sisters'. This means three sisters alone with my brother who is a good chap but not too capable.