Monday, September 24, 2018


Elmer and Lucy lived in a small addition to their son's farmhouse. They were a friendly older couple and every one enjoyed visits with 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. Oh, dear. Oh, dear. You are so right! Funerals are to help the living cope, and a kind word or a hug are so important. Telling the family some sweet story about how the deceased helped them or a funny tale about the time he or she made you laugh is more important than all the flowers in the world.

  2. I feel so bad for Elmer and I didn’t even know him. A few words mean so much when you’ve lost a loved one.

  3. Ignoring the loved one left behind seems very hard but I guess no one wants to be the one who breaks the tradition.

  4. Is it actually a written rule that people are not to stop and offer words to the grieving? Is it considered improper? How did this tradition start? Who came up with it? What would have happened if someone had stopped and comforted Elmer? Would it have been considered taboo? I’m sorry if I seem disrespectful, but I don’t get it.


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