One could tell by looking at her that she had overcome a serious illness not long ago.
In the spring she had had to undergo surgery.
And because her recovery dragged on for some time, Ruth Bailey had come from England to take over the management of the household.
It had been agreed that in the future Ruth would look after things in the Jung home no matter who the surviving spouse was.
On the eightieth birthday Emma Jung, now seventy-three, was able to fully enjoy the festivities.
She even felt strong enough to spend some time with her husband in the Bollingen tower.
But the state of good health which lasted for both of them into the fall came to a sudden end for Emma; early in November she once again became gravely ill.
A short stay in the hospital showed that the original medical prognosis of a few more years of life, admittedly expressed with great reservation, was in error. Emma Jung died on 27 November 1955 ..
Jung was deeply stricken, evidently much more so than by Toni Wolff’s death two years before.
“In all my eighty years,” Barbara Hannah attested, “I have never seen a marriage for which I felt such a spontaneous and profound respect. Emma Jung was a most remarkable woman, a sensation type who compensated and completed her husband in many respects.”
This judgment was confirmed by many who knew Emma and Carl Gustav well.
Aniela Jaffe referred to Emma Jung’s presidency of several years in the Psychological Club and her activity as a teaching analyst and in the C. G. Jung Institute, adding:
“Emma Jung’s life was one of uncommon richness and was one of fulfillment, because her faithfulness to her own nature coincided with her faithfulness to her husband and her profound understanding of his life’s work.”
It was not granted to her to complete her major work on the mystery of the Grail.
Marie-Louise von Franz brought the book to a conclusion, and it was possible for it to appear during Jung’s lifetime, in 1960.
Laurens van der Post had a vivid memory of Emma Jung as both lecturer and hostess:
“She was an immensely sensitive, shy, solicitous, circumspect, and introverted spirit …. Yet she was as dauntless as she was enduring and delivered her meaning with great precision, erudition, and understanding.”
It need not be particularly stressed that what the Englishman had to say caught only a small segment of the total personality of C. G. Jung’s wife, when we consider how even as a young woman, with ·astonishing personal maturity, Emma Jung had stood up to Sigmund Freud for her Carl, and how she
had endred and helped to smooth over the considerable tensions with which the family was burdened by other women, and especially Jung’s relationship to Toni Wolff.
Writing to his friend Erich Neumann in Tel Aviv on 15 December 1955, the widower gave voice to his great shock at losing Emma:
“The shock I underwent is so great that I can neither concentrate nor recover my ability to express myself.”
And then he reported a kind of enlightenment, a “great illumination” which had suddenly taken him by surprise two days before Emma’s death, affording him like a flash of lightning a glimpse into the secret of life that was embodied in this woman and had influenced his life to such a great extent.
“I can only think that the illumination came from my wife, who was then mostly in a coma, and that the tremendous lighting up and release of this insight worked back upon her and was one reason that she could die such a painless and regal death.”
Now the stillness, “the audible silence,” was around him.
He could not and would not have it removed, for this feeling of nearness beyond death and the grave also had a special message for him which was not to be dulled or suppressed.
But it was a great help that Jung’s children, especially his daughters, looked after their father and regularly visited him by turns.
As had been agreed while Emma was still alive, Ruth Bailey moved from England to Kusnacht and cared for C. G. Jung during the last five and a half years of his life.
It was important to him to have about him a helper and companion who would in no way be forced by the charge to neglect her own family, as would have been the case with his children. ~Gerhard Wehr, Jung: A Biography, Pages 422-424