Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
THE CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
THE LAST SAD RITES
At last it Is all over the pussy
footed men from the undertaker shop
witn tneir maaaening airs 01 sympa
w thy: the over-Dowerine scent of tube
roses and lilies of the valley; the
stifling pall of crepe veils; the har
rowing notes of music and the long
sermon wherein the minister drew a
moral for the unregenerated from the
blameless life of the deceased. Uncle
John has been "put away" (as the
quaint mountaineers of the South
say), from mortal ken.
Poor Aunt, Mary! Never before did
I realize how barbarous are our fun
eral ceremonies. When my dear
mother died I was too young to un
derstand that there might be any
thing else than the usual way of bid
ding goodbye to those we love best.
But as I sat beside dear Aunt Mary
with her trembling hand in mine and
felt her shrink and shudder when the
hymns began and heard her sobs as
the minister referred to her as "wid
owed and childless" it seemed to me
that all this was like sticking a knife
into an old wound and turning it
Aunt Mary whispered to me: "Send
all the flowers you can to the hospital,
dear, so at least some poor tortured
living being will be gladdened by the
sight and odor of blossoms that were
sent to,honor lifeless clay.".
The modest line of carriages were
filled with neighbors and friends.
Aunt Mary could' afford to spend
much on the obsequies of Uncle John,
but she asked that they should be as
simple as possible. .
As we entered the cemetery we met
another, procession headed by a band
playing a funeral dirge. Following
were vehicles filled with flowers and
then innumerable carriages filled
with men, women and children. All
these were poorly dressed, and Dick
remarked: "Some poor woman is giv
ing all 'the insurance money' to pay
proper respect to her man."
Aunt Mary looked up with the first
gleam of interest in life she had
shown since Uncle John's death, and
as we descended from the carriage
she glanced to a cheaper part of the
cemetery where, about the open
grave, stood a group of people, evi
dently foreigners, while the band was
still playing dolefully.
Then her grief overpowered her
and Dick had to fairly carry her to
the place reserved for the last rite
But now it is all over. We have
returned to the house from which
kind friends have already banished all
signs of death and dissolution.
Aunt Mary went immediately to
her room and I knew she wanted to
be alone. Dick began to plan about
getting back and I sighed as I
thought how hard it would be for me
to stay here while I knew Dick was
Just then dear Aunt Mary came in
and said: "Margie, I have been think
ing of that other poor woman we saw
at the cemetery today and I want
Dick to go immediately and find out
if it be true that she is paying out all
her little hoard to give her husband 'a
grand funeral.' If that is so ask Dick
to pay all those expenses for her. I
cannot bear to have her suffer more
than is necessary."
I just took that little woman in my
arms and kissed her.
Aunt Mary may not be scientifically
philanthropic, but she is a regular hu
(To Be Continued Monday.)
(Copyright, 1914, by the Newspaper
'TWAS O. K. ,
"Excuse me; can I speak to your
typewriter a moment?"
"You cannot She is engaged."
"That's all right. I'm the fellow
she's engaged to."