Friday, June 15, 2012


Thank-you so much for all the kind words we received via comments and personal emails on the previous post.

The question was asked after someone saw the latest episode of Amish: Out of Order on Nat Geo where Mose was saying that the Amish don't talk about the deceased after the funeral and they wondered why the Amish would react that way.

I had never even heard of something like that before. When my Grandpa passed away we still enjoyed the memories he left behind. As the first year anniversary of his passing approached all his children and grand children contributed to a little project where we each wrote some of our favorite memories of him on little pieces of paper and put them in a gallon jar that we had hand painted and labeled; Jar of Memories. We presented it to Grandma on that anniversary day. We all enjoyed reading each other's memories and talking about the special man he was.

While we didn't always create a jar of memories we certainly didn't shy away from talking about anyone who was no longer with us. For those that had been faithful to the Amish the focus was on good and happy memories. Unfortunately for those who had left, they were often held as examples in church where ministers would warn against making foolish choices and squandering the chance of grace and repentance.


  1. It seems to me that being Amish is like being Welsh. You'd be surprised how often I am asked, ' How do the Welsh.....' There are as many ways of being Welsh as their are Welsh communities. Each has customs and ways of dealing with life that may or may not be similar to the next village or small town in the same valley.
    One of my neighbours has a stock answer to questions beginning 'How do the Welsh..' He always says,' Just as the English do, but with more energy and better results!' He says it with a twinkle in his eye and questioners always know he isn't being serious.
    But really, sometimes it is hard to know how to answer questions such as, 'How do the Welsh pray?' or 'Do Welsh people curse in English or Welsh?!!' Another favourite is, 'Do Welshmen eat any meat other than lamb?' Just try stopping them!

  2. It's one of those stereotype things; someone from a certain group/community does something, so people assume the rest do too. I hate stereotypes!

    I love the memory jar thing though!

  3. Amish are like so many other cultures, it can be different in each community!

  4. I love the sweet memories of those gone before. Talking about them is sometimes therapy.

  5. Everyone is curious about the unknown. Most don't know how to ask questions, either. I know I don't. But I know where to look for answers, and I love His:

    I will not leave you comfortless:
    (John 14:18a KJV)

  6. I too watched that episode and was taken a back by Mose' comment. I thought perhaps I had misunderstood, and the Amish cease to talk about hose that left the order and have since passed. The more I am learning about the Amish, the more I am noticing that it truly depends on the area in which they live and their specific Ordnung. Perhaps thats how things are done in the community he is from. Its so nice that your family came together to make a memory jar. You're so very sweet to share your family experiences with us. Thank you for that.

  7. What? When my (Amish) aunt died, it seemed like it was all the family talked about for quite a while. There was a lot of comfort in those memories for both Amish and non-Amish family alike. Same for my grandparents.

    I am going to wager a *guess* that since some communities are really large networks of extended families, that this thing of not speaking about the dead was the culture of a specific family more than an Amish thing.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.