I suppose they have telegraphed to you directly that your aunt Susie died yesterday morning, apparently after a short illness. I am leaving in two or three days for Paris and Avila: probably I shall have to stay for some time in Madrid. Your aunt’s age, and my own, softens this blow a good deal in my own feelings; and you who never saw her in her palmy days can hardly have an idea of the ascendency which she exercised over people, and particularly over me. Invalid as she was when you knew her, you must still have felt how much life there was in her spirit: I think she was confident of surviving her husband, and doing great things independently; but the flesh is treacherous, and things have turned out the other way.
From The Letters of George Santayana: Book Four, 1928–1932. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003.
Location of manuscript: The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.