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GLAD TO COME TO THE FUNERAL


Garrison Keillor told the story of the time that his mother and father took him to the city to visit an aunt who was lonely and alone after the death of her husband of 55 years. He describes how she looked to him at 10 years of age. Her dress was stained with food spots, her rouge was heavy on one side, her lipstick was crooked, and her fake pearls did not go with her dress. She sat at the table as they ate together. The aunt began to cry. "I have nothing left to live for. I might as well die." She started to cry as she kept chewing her food. "I’ll bet that if I died tomorrow, no one would even come to my funeral, not even you folks." Garrison, seeking to be helpful at 10 years of age, said, "Oh, I’d come. I’d be glad to come to your funeral."


Reflecting on her outburst, Garrison concludes as he thinks back 40 years to that day: "Every tear that poor woman cried, we will cry also before we leave this world and give in to the one death we owe."

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