Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Elmer and Lucy lived in a small addition to their son's farmhouse. They were a friendly old couple and every one enjoyed visits from them.

News spread fast through out the community. Lucy had been badly burned when she mistook a can of gas for kerosene when she was lighting their stove which had caused an explosion.

She was in the hospital but things didn't look good. A few days later news came that Lucy had passed away.

For the second time our district had to plan and prepare for a funeral. Daddy was still one of the men that had to help dig the grave by hand. And I again went to help with all the cleaning and food preparation.

Working at Elmer's house without hearing his laughter felt eerie and oppressive and I breathed a sigh of relief when evening came and it was time to go home.

On the day of the funeral I sat with my friends. As people started filing past the casket my stomach knotted when I saw Elmer sitting next to the casket, his shoulders shaking from silent sobs. I felt all choked up and wished for just one time people could break their solemn traditions and pause for a moment to say a few comforting words to Elmer but the lines of people kept on going and everyone peered into the casket for one last glimpse of Lucy but they all ignored Elmer sitting there next to her.

I shuddered as I thought that someday it could be me in that casket and the thought of people staring at me and ignoring my loved ones made me cringe. I was glad when the three seated buggy drove up to the porch and it was time for the girls who would be serving lunch to leave.


  1. aww... so sad that he missed the comfort from words and hugs to help ease his heartbreak.

  2. Hard to understand the Amish ways, but they are known for their strength in the face of tragedy. Your memories are so very touching.

  3. That is so sad. Sometimes just a brief hand on the shoulder means so much.

  4. I felt so sad as I read and re-read this posting. Would there have been some sort of "punishment" issued to anyone who broke with tradition and offered comfort to Elmer?
    Busy Hands...Happy Heart

  5. Put that worry out of your mind - you can now choose how you comfort those who are hurting and teach your children the same. Sad thought but they were doing what they "knew". Viewings are never fun, no matter what religion you are and the awkward moments are always there. I know you and your family are well loved and and surrounded by so many who will take care of each of you ~ I hope we're all as blessed.

  6. So tragic and even more sad that he couldn't be comforted. Thank you for sharing this view into that culture, one that I'm guessing few understand.

    I found your blog through Marydon. She suggested I stop by here. So glad I did! Nice to meet you, my friend.

  7. Have you ever thought about putting your story into a book?


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