The Art of Darkness

Family History

December 19th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Today, for something completely different, I thought I’d share one of my favorite, rather macabre, family anecdotes. If nothing else, it’s a hell of an ice-breaker at parties.

This is a bit of familial lore related by my late paternal grandmother.* She was born in 1905 so these events would have taken place in about 1911 or 1912, when medicine was still on the primitive side and rural folk didn’t bother with a doctor much anyway.

Anyway, it happened that one of my grandmother’s great-aunts died, and in the tradition of the time her body was laid out at the house to allow the relatives to pay their respects. Normally you’d have to worry about the body beginning to decompose, but it was the middle of winter in Nebraska so they just put her in an unheated enclosed porch. For three days.

When they finally went to bury her, the body was still warm.

And…they buried her anyway.

At this point I said, “Um, grandma…?” And she looked sort of embarrassed and said, “Well, apparently nobody liked her very much.”


*She related it when she was still alive, you understand.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »