Ursula, Pamela, and Sylvie stand over the open grave, Sylvie so consumed by grief that she can hardly stand. Ursula thinks that this is somewhat disingenuous, as Sylvie had been needlessly unkind to Hugh in the few months prior. Jimmy couldn’t get leave, but Teddy had shown up at the last minute. He and Nancy hold each other. Izzie had also arrived from California just a few days before Hugh’s death, not wanting to “sit out” the war.
Even with the various quarrels between the Todd family members, ultimately they demonstrate their deep love for each other and for Hugh at his funeral. They not only give him their love, but they also try to help each other grieve over the death of their beloved father figure.
Izzie is the one who found Hugh, who had died of a heart attack while sitting in a deckchair on the lawn. Izzie tells Ursula that he looked peaceful. After the funeral, Ursula and Izzie have little conversation with Sylvie, who can’t seem to sit down. Ursula and Bridget clear out Hugh’s closet, and Ursula hugs one of his suits close to her, trying to hold on to her father.
There still are, however, some family members who retain slight grudges against each other. While Izzie and Sylvie have always disliked each other, Ursula is upset at her mother for being cold to Hugh, a conflict that echoed Sylvie’s needless cruelty towards Ursula following her abortion.
Later, Ursula is collecting eggs from the henhouse when Izzie interrupts her, confessing rather abruptly that she had had a baby when she was sixteen; Hugh had seen to it that he was adopted by a good family. Izzie says she had hoped to one day ask him about the baby, to try to find him. But now, she realizes, it’s too late, not only because Hugh is dead, but because her son may have died in the war.
Izzie realizes fully the possibility she had lost in ever seeing her son again. In one of the final chapters, Atkinson writes a timeline in which Sylvie raised Izzie’s child as her own, but he dies very young. These contrasting outcomes bring up the central question of whether there is a “correct” version of life—that perhaps it is better for Izzie never to have known her son and for him to live, than for her to have known him and for him to die.