What does Marmee say before Beth dies?

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droxonian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There isn't any mention in the novel of Marmee saying anything in particular before Beth dies, although the novel does state that, in her final days and hours, Beth "clung to the hand that had led her all her life." Both Marmee and Beth's father accompany her as she dies, and Alcott makes a particular point of stating that dying utterances or last words to a dying person are rarely as momentous as they are in books. For Beth, "the tide went out easily" and without fanfare, and she dies cradled on her mother's bosom. The last words actually addressed to Beth in the book are from Jo, who has watched over Beth closely throughout her final illness. Jo promises she will try very hard to keep going after Beth's death, and not be too sad, knowing she is going to a better place.