Please explain the meaning of the following quote and how it relates to life and death: "So bitter is it that death is hardly more."
You haven't told us which short story this quote comes from, so I will have to respond as best I can just from the quote. However, please remember that whenever you are trying to establish the meaning of a quote, it is really important to try and read it in context, as this will help you greatly to deduce its meaning.
The quote you have cites seems to make a bitter comment about life, if life is the "it" that it refers to. For some people, I am sure, life is so harsh that death itself is "hardly more" or nothing worse, or even, for some, a welcome escape and something to look forward to. However, this is why you must read this quote in context to discover the kind of life that is being described. It speaks of an intensely sad and painful life that is devoid of joy and life, and to which death can only be a continuation.