(Therese was four and a half years old when "Mummy" went to Heaven. As there were no Grief Counselors or the concept
of "grief work" in her day, Therese entered what I call her "autistic grieving").
From St. Therese's autobiography, "The Story of a Soul":
The moving ceremony of Extreme Unction impressed me profoundly. We all knelt and I can still see the spot where
I knelt by the side of Celine. Father was there as well in tears. Either on the day she died or the day after,
he took me in his arms and said: "Come and give your dear mother a last kiss." Without saying a word, I touched her
forehead with my lips. I don't remember weeping much, and I spoke to no one about how keenly I felt it all.
I watched and listened without saying anything, and as no one had time to bother about me, I saw a lot they wanted to
hide from me. I saw the lid of the coffin and stood looking at it for a long time. I knew what it was, although
I hadn't seen one before. I was so small that, although Mummy was short, I had to lift my head to see it all.
It seemed huge and grim.
At this time. . .I entered the second period of my life. It was the most unhappy one, especially after you (Pauline/Mother
Agnes) my second mother, had entered Carmel. This period lasted from when I was four and a half to when I was fourteen.
Then I regained the character I had when I was a little child and yet I understood the serious meaning of life.
The moment Mummy died my happy disposition changed completely. I had been lively and cheerful, but I became timid
and quiet and a bundle of nerves. A glance was often enough to make me burst into tears. I was only happy if no
one took any notice of me, and I couldn't endure being with strangers. I was never cheerful except within the family
circle, and there the greatest love and kindness surrounded me. Daddy's affection seemed enriched by a real motherly
love, and I felt that both you (Pauline/Mother Agnes) and Marie were the most tender and self-sacrificing of mothers.
God's little flower would never have survived if He had not poured his warmth and light on her.