Tag Archives: #funeral

Tom Cavanagh–Info for Wake and Service “He Built this City”

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Tom Cavanagh–Info for Wake and Service  “He Built this City”
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The Mississippi Thunderkings would like to share our most heartfelt condolences to the entire Cavanagh family on the passing of Tom Cavanagh. No other family in our community has been a bigger supporter of our MTK program then the Cavanagh’s. Our minor peewee team paid tribute to Tom prior to their Silver Stick Game today for the many years of support. We continue to wear the Cavanagh name on our backs in gratitude and in memory of Tom. MTK Hockey
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Everything you need to know about his service etc.. is here.. Please click

 

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December 6 at 9:06 AM

In late 2012 three local men had cancer. My late husband Angelo Secaspina, Bill Bagg and Tommy Cavanagh. Bill and Angelo both had colon cancer and asked constantly about the welfare of each other. Tommy C and Angelo shared chemo appointments together for awhile like nothing was amiss– because that is who they were. All these men were all community driven and I called them The Three Musketeers. THREE extremely strong community men with cancer and I wondered: Does cancer carry any dignity at all?

Angelo died in February 2014 and Bill died in 2017– but Tommy carried on. I had nothing but admiration for this man who fought cancer like a warrior. Nothing but. Our mortality is finite, but the experience of passing is so different for each individual.

Today I got up and heard that Tommy had died. My son texted me and I think we both felt the loss like family would. We are all born and will all die – no getting out of the fact. Our culture’s dread of mortality keeps us from experiencing all that life has to offer by making us terrified of confronting the final nature of our existence. Everyone does it differently, even from death to death, and we can never really know how we’ll deal with it until we’re confronted.

Tommy fought like no other I knew and today I am beyond saddened to hear of his passing. Be at peace Tommy Cavanagh and as Max Keeping told me when Angelo passed: ” Cancer is such a bully”… but you gave it your all and showed that damn disease who was boss. My love to the family.. nothing but– My love and prayers go to all of you. He was a hell of a man who loved his family and community. May Tommy rest in peace.

Linda Seccaspina and family

 

He built this city……… dedicated to Tommy Cavanagh

The Cross on Top of the Hearse

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The Cross on Top of the Hearse

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Middleville Museum

 

In rural areas people do pull over in towns located in predominantly rural areas. But in major cities you will seldom find it happening.

I always cross myself when a hearse passes. Doing so provides an opportunity to pray for the departed and those grieving. It’s also a healthy reminder of our own mortality and that our death could occur at any minute.

Alice Borrowman from the Middleville Museum told me that when it was carrying a Catholic, a cross was placed atop the hearse. When a Protestant was inside, the cross  in some places was removed or as in Young’s hearse it was folded down.

In our area it was definitely a community funeral and they paid a great deal of attention to death and funerals. Many people attended funerals, and would think it strange for a town’s resident not to pay respect to an upstanding citizen by attending a funeral. The funeral process began immediately after a death had occurred, when female neighbours or local midwives gathered at the home of the deceased to lay out the body. The corpse was typically laid on a bed or a flat surface, such as boards or a door, suspended between supports and covered with a white sheet. In some homes this would be in the front room, in others the bedroom or the kitchen. First the body was washed and then, using simple materials readily at hand, the mouth was closed by tying a handkerchief under the chin and coins or pebbles were used to close the eyes.

While the body was being prepared by the women, a six-sided coffin was being constructed by a local carpenter or lumber mill. It was a full day’s work and might be done without charge since the maker saw it as his contribution to the community. The body was kept in the home from one to three days, although hot weather or a very obese corpse might require speedy burial. In winter, the stove was allowed to go out to keep the house cool. If ice was available, a bathtub full was placed under the body, or ice was packed around the abdomen to slow decomposition and minimize odour.

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relatedreading

How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

 

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

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How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

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This week my friend Bobby Lyons from Cincinnati posted a Walmart Facebook ad that has actually been rolling around since 2018  (you’re slippin RG) for “funeral potatoes” from Walmart.  Yup, you read that correctly. But what are they?

Believe it or not, “Funeral Potatoes” is not actually their technical name–it’s usually something like Cheesy Potato Casserole.  These are often found served with ham on festive holiday dinner tables as well as luncheons following funerals which, shockingly, is how they got their name.

Why are funeral potatoes are so delicious? We chalk it up to the heartfelt care and sympathy with which they’re prepared. I’m not crying. You’re crying  carbs and fats which make us happy. Though they have a sombre name, funeral potatoes are truly the ultimate comfort food. Potatoes to die for and Walmart’s version has a shelf life of up to 18 months! Holy Mother of you know who!

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A dish of funeral potatoes is supposedly a way to show your support and sympathy for a grieving family. To make them yourself,  and you could follow the Pioneer Woman’s go-to funeral potatoes recipe. The ingredients list isn’t long, nor fancy either. While it’s not difficult to put together, it does bake up into a truly comforting and filling side dish. Her recipe includes as a base frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, which makes the casserole prep even easier. It also includes assorted cheeses, sour cream, and a topping of kettle-cooked potato chips, among other ingredients. While you are at she also has a funeral episode you might want to take a gander at.

Upon doing a little digging through my dusty mind I discovered I’ve actually had funeral potatoes many times, which I always knew as cheesy hash browns. There are countless variations of the casserole-type side dish, but the general recipe calls for ‘taters, cheese, some kind of cream soup, sour cream, and a crunchy top made of cereal or potato chips. Life could be tragic, if some things weren’t so darn funny. I just figured out that lint from my dryer is actually the remains of my missing socks.

Alex Knisely  — When I brings ’em I cooks ’em and I hands ’em over to the kinfolk of the dear departed, sayin’, Take the salt off the table when you serve these, darlin’, ’cause they’re watered with my tears.

Recipe

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DIRECTIONS FOR: FUNERAL POTATOES CLICK here.

See this picture below- want a funny read? Read

Fashion Faux Pas in the Cemetery

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  1. relatedreading

How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

Tales From The Undertaker

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Tales From The Undertaker

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Once, we went to collect a body from an old folks’ home. As it was a shared room, the dead person was in one bed, and someone was sleeping in the other. When we were called, we arrived quickly, and when I went to move the body onto our stretcher, it started coughing,” says an employee who transports bodies to the funeral home.

An employee told us that one time, when they went to close a casket, they found two metro passes in the dead person’s pocket. He kept them, and then felt so guilty that he said an “Our Father” and two “Hail Marys” for the deceased every time he used them.

 

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February 1901 Ottawa Citizen

The recurring fears of employees include:

– that the body moves.

– that the body “breaks.”

– getting the wrong body.

– getting stuck to the body when they use glue.

– positioning the body wrong and having it fall down in the middle of the service

Not every funeral home makes up the bodies before the funerals. Sometimes they simply clean the body up a little, glue it shut, and dress it up.

“Once, there was a 90-year-old lady whose family wanted to bury her in the wedding dress she wore when she got married in her twenties. In those cases, we cut the clothes and place them on top of the body. We at least try to get the sleeves on to make the body look like it’s dressed.”

 

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Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 12 Jan 1927, Wed,
  3. Page 1

 

Funeral parlors can be so full of feelings, energies, spirits — and whatever else we believe in — that some find it necessary to “cleanse” from time to time.

Cleansing rites can range from the classic — like burning sage — to the more obscure —like leaving glasses of water to absorb energies. Some even hire specialists or members of religious orders to help.

“We don’t recommend bringing animals or small children to funeral parlors because they perceive more things than we do,” explained one employee. She said that dogs will sometimes start barking at nothing. Or at least nothing any human can see.

 

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 03 Apr 1906, Tue,
  3. Page 3

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

relatedreading

How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

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The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

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One of my joys this year in 2017 was visiting the Middleville & District Museum in the heart of Lanark County. I could not believe this place– it was everything I ever wished for in history displays. (Did you Know we have a “World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?)

These photos of the hearse from the Middleville Museum was used for funerals around Lanark County by the Young family Funeral Home in the Village of Lanark, Ontario. A team of black horses pulled it for the funeral, and if  a child had passed, the black horses were switched for white ones. A hearse and horses laden with ostrich plumes were indicative of a person’s wealth and often families hired extra horses festooned with plumes. Two plumes meant that the deceased was of modest means while three to four meant that he or she was better off. If you could afford five or six plumes you were wealthy, but having seven plumes was reserved for the truly rich.

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There was a detachable black wooded cross for Roman Catholic funerals, and in the winter the hearse was mounted on runners to master those rural winter roads. For the poor, about $8 Canadian today, one could have a hearse with one horse, a mourning coach also with one horse, an elm coffin covered in black with handles, mattress, pillow, side sheets and a coachmen with a black crepe band.

The deceased were waked in their homes in those days before embalming. The family placed wide black crepe roses with matching black ribbons on their front door to warn visitors it was a house of mourning. Friends and family gathered in the parlour to support the family and pay their respects. In the summer buckets of ice were placed under the coffin to keep the corpse cool.

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The hearse came to the home to pick up the coffin that was covered with the floral tributes and sometimes sheaves of grain were used to honour the deceased. The procession made its way from the deceased person’s house towards the cemetery but often made a detour through a busy part of town to get the maximum effect for the money spent. Once the trip through town was complete, the procession moved into a brisk trot until the cemetery gates were reached and then a sedate walk was in order towards the chapel for the ceremony. The burial itself was witnessed by the men only and then the whole group returned to the house for a meal.This particular hearse was last used for the funeral of Mrs James Dodd in 1944.

 

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Photos- Linda Seccaspina with Files from the Middleville Museum

historicalnotes

Perth Courier, Jan. 8, 1897

Pepper—Died, at Lanark on Thursday, Dec. 24, Eliza Taylor Pepper, relict of the late William Pepper, aged 86(?).

Death of Mrs. Peter McIntyre—The subject of the following sketch, whose maidenname was Christina Craig, and who died on Thursday, Dec. 31, was born near Lochearnhead, Paisley, Scotland, in 1810.  She was married in 1830 and with her husband emigrated to this country in 1831 when they settled in Drummond on the farm now occupied by Archibald McTavish where they remained until 1840 when they removed to her home in Bathurst near Balderson.  Deceased was greatly respected  and much beloved by all who knew her. She was a devout Christian and a member of the Presbyterian Church.  It was always a joy to her to fulfill the divine injunction to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and to minister to the afflicted.  Her family, which consisted of six children, are:  Findlay, deceased, who was at one time a bookkeeper for the late Boyd Caldwell of Lanark; and Duncan who died at the age of five years.  Those who survive are:  Mrs. Ansley(?) Keyes of this town; Lizzie C. and John P. on the homestead and Peter on his farm adjoining.  The funeral took place Sunday afternoon, Jan. 3 when Rev. J.S. McIlraith conducted the services and gave an appropriate address from Isaiah 57-1, the righteous perish and no man layeth it to heart.  A large assembly accompanied the remains of the departed to Elmwood.  May He who wept at the grave of Lazarus be the consolation of the aged and bereaved husband and his family and may they through Him be united in the mansion beyond.

Perth Courier, Feb. 5, 1897

The Era says:  “On Thursday morning of last week death brought relief to the sufferings of Mrs. Robert Stone, widow of the late Robert Stone of Dalhousie.  Deceased was 72 years of age.  She leaves a family of seven, three sons and four daughters.  Deceased had been ailing for some months and her daughters Mrs. George Manahan of Gilbert P – alns(?) and Mrs. George Buffam of Eganville wee called home a few weeks ago.  The three sons, Messrs. Johnston, Robert and William and two daughters Miss Mary and Miss Lizzie reside on the homestead.  The funeral took place on Satuirday from her late residence to the Lanark Village Cemetery.”

Perth Courier, Feb. 19, 1897

Spence—Died, at Lanark on Friday, Feb. 12, Jane McDougall Spence, beloved wife of Jas. Spence, aged 43(?) 45(?).

Lanark Links:  We regret to record the death of Jane McDougall, wife of James Spence of this village. She had been ill for over nine weeks and during her sickness suffered severely yet showed great patience.  She leaves a husband and five little children to mourn her loss.

Lanark Links:  We have to record the death of another of our citizens, Mrs. John Manahan.  She had been ill for a long time and manifested a Christian patience during her illness.  Being beloved by all who knew her, the funeral on Monday was largely attended.

Perth Courier, April 23, 1897

Those members of the Lanark County Council of 15 years ago will learn with sorrow of the death of a much respected member of that body, Daniel Drummond.  The Gazette of April 16 says:  “The township of Ramsay has lost one of its oldest and most highly respected residents by the death of Daniel Drummond which took place on Friday, at his home in Clayton at the age of 70(?).  Deceased had been ailing with a heart affliction for the past two years and in consequence had not been able during that time either to take an active part in public affairs or paying much attention to his own private business.  The late Mr. Drummond was born in Ramsay in 1826 and removed to Clayton about 30 years ago where he bought a grist mill and saw mill which he continued to work until the time of his death.  Mr. Drummond was a man of strict integrity, upright in all his dealings and of a kind and genial disposition.  He was a man of more than ordinary intellect and this was early recognized by his friends and neighbors in the vicinity and he was for many years the respected and efficient reeve of Ramsay.  In religion he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church as long as his health permitted him to do active work.  In politics he was a Liberal.

Tennant—Died, at Lanark, on Thursday, April 1, Lloyd Tennant, only son of Edward Tennant, aged 15.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

relatedreading

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

 

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

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The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

 

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Doug B. McCarten— Were you aware Linda Seccaspina that the two funeral homes in Carleton  Place had political leanings?? It was an unspoken practice, but all Conservatives were buried from the Kelly Funeral Home and all Liberals went to Alan Barker!! I guess there were either no NDP people in Carleton Place, or they were sent elsewhere?? It was also said that you could have a “Pig” running as the Conservative candidate and still win the race in Lanark County! HAHAHAHA! It was likely true at the time!

Ted Hurdis I would have thought it was the other way around ? Pretty sure the Conservatives went to Barkers.

Carol Ethridge Both my parents were die-hard Conservatives and both were buried from Barkers

Doug B. McCarten Ted Hurdis not on your life! My Mom and Dad would never have gone to Barkers otherwise being the good Liberals that they were!

Doug B. McCarten Carol Ethridge after Kelly’s was gone?

Carol Ethridge Doug B. McCarten – my father was in 1977 but I’m pretty sure my grandmother was at Barker’s and that would have been around 1967 or so.

Norma Ford Carol Ethridge both our Grandparents were buried from Barkers but the others were from Fleming’s. I think it had more to do with service although I am probably wrong.

Carol Ethridge Norma Ford my memory is shot….what was the name of the other funeral home on Lake Ave….I swear every wake I went to as a child was at Barker’s. Jimmy’s was the first I went to not at Barkers

Llew Lloyd I always thought it was the Anglicans who used Flemings.

Donna McFarlane-ED and Doris Fleming were neighbours of my parents when my parents lived on the corner of Frank and Lake Avenue. I always remember Mom talking about how compassionate both were after the funeral of my sister in 1940 at 2 months and my brother in 1944 at a year and a half. Ed also ran the ambulance.

Norma Ford– Agreed, Mr. & Mrs. Fleming were super nice people. I also remember your Grandfather Harold and his wife Cora. Harold was a super nice guy as well. Vaguely remember your Dad. Hughes store was a great little store, sold Melo (spelling ?) Roll ice cream, loved it.

Jayne Graham My dad grew up in the house across the street from the funeral home (Cam Hughes.. parents were Harold and Cora Hughes who had the Southend Food Market on the same street). My dad drove the hearse for a short period of time. Ed and Doris remained close family friends with Doris travelling to London for my wedding in 1989. . They were lovely people

Ann Stearns Rawson When I mentioned Barker’s to my parents a long time ago, they said NEVER, As they were staunch Conservatives, now I know why!


Norma Ford Carol Ethridge 1st Fleming’s, then Kerry’s. Kerry’s I believe was where Jim, Mom & Dad funerals were held.

authorsnote)For the first time I don’t think I have anything to add to this. I am gobsmacked. LOL

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

relatedreading

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

 

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

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Death Becomes Her —Proper Mourning

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Death Becomes Her —Proper Mourning

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Dec 1905, Sat,  Page 15

Did you know the material most prized to show grief was lignite, also known as jet, a fossilized form of coal. Jet is deep, dark and somber. In the first phase of mourning, jet jewelry was the only ornamentation women were allowed to wear.

The middle classes in particular, wishing to follow and accept the higher canons of decency of the upper classes, thus they emulated every example she set.  They liked to use black edged stationery, envelopes, notepaper and visiting cards.

 

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Prayer books and bibles had to be bound in Black morocco leather and handkerchiefs edged in black. The list was endless, but all touches were intended to convey to the onlooker through a series of signs and symbols visual messages that the deepest feelings of sadness were felt at the loss. They tied little black or purple ribbons around dressing table bottles and added similar purple or black ribbons even to the clothing of infants.

 

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While women were only supposed to wear jet for the first stage, during the second stage of mourning one could wear a piece of jewellery if it contained, or was made of, hair. That would be human hair. That would be human hair taken from the deceased love one. Brooches, bracelets, rings, chains and buckles were all made of hair; sometimes there was just a bit enclosed in a hollow band or brooch, other times, the hair was crafted into a piece of its own.

 

Image result for hair mourning jewellry

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 Jan 1901, Sat,  Page 1

A widow was to wear a bonnet of heavy crepe and a veil to cover the face for the first three months. At the end of three months the veil was to be worn from the back of the bonnet for another nine months. Altogether, restrictive mourning dress, known as widow’s weeds, was to be worn for a minimum of two years, although many widows chose to shun colour forever. The duration of wearing these clothes depended on how well the wearer knew the recently departed. A new widow would be expected to mourn her husband (and wear the full attire) for two years, unless the woman was deemed old, in which case she was expected to mourn until her own passing.

 

 

The Ottawa Journal Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Wed, Sep 27, 1916 – Page 10

 

Everybody else was presumed to be easier to lose. Mourning a parent would be expected to take one year, whereas grandparents and siblings would be mourned for six months.With such low-age life expectancy and large families, Victorians were in mourning more often than not throughout their lives. Holding on to your mourning wear was considered bad luck and would bring untimely death to the family, so most would discard their outfits after wearing them.

This meant that once another family member died, more clothing would need to be made and paid for. This often gave the dressmakers – ironically – customers for life.In 1865 Henry Mayhew the social historian remarked that  “Women had to put aside all their ordinary clothes and wear nothing but black, in the appropriate materials and with particular accessories, for the first stages of mourning”. The fashion for heavy mourning was drastically reduced during the Edwardian era and even more so after the Great War.  So many individuals died that just about everyone was in mourning for someone.  By 1918 a whole new attitude had developed and this was hastened even further by the Second World War.

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Apr 1915, Sat,  Page 15

 

Once a member of the house died, all of the mirrors in the house were to be covered. If a mirror in the house fell and broke, it was thought that someone in the home would die soon. When someone died in the house, the clock was to be stopped at the hour of death or bad luck would ensue. When a body was removed from the house, it had to be taken head-first so that it could not beckon others to follow.

 

 

Drawing of a design for a 'safety coffin'

Not really a mourning tradition, but a good sign of the times: Coffin alarms. The fear of being buried alive was so severe that a device known as a coffin alarm was invented. The contraption was simply a bell attached to the headstone with a chain that connected to a ring placed on the finger of the corpse. (Gives the term “dead ringer” a whole new meaning.) There were outbreaks of many diseases at the time that would leave the body in a comatose state. It could take nothing more than a careless physician or an underlying disease to pronounce the sufferer as deceased, and for the funeral preparations to begin almost instantly.

 

Clipped from Manitoba Free Press,  02 Jun 1915, Wed,  Page 9

 

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

 

relatedreading

 

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions! Our Haunted Heritage

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

 

 

 

 

 

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The Crane that Brought Back a Message of Love – A True Story

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Johanna sat there quietly at the memorial and remembered their past. Thirty years had gone by too fast and now suddenly Bruce was gone. What would she do without him?

While she wept softly, a crane slowly walked beside the white picket fence. He began to watch her carefully “as the wise flower elves wept in the hollows”. How could he explain to her that he was there. Flying over the fence in a gentle swoop, “he felt the drops of dew, and kissed cold tears from the grass”.

The crane tried to get closer to Johanna with one measured step at a time. The “grass blades parted with sighs” as he was trying to tell her that he was there. Bruce had only been gone for just a few brief days, but had returned to tell her that he loved her. Yes, he would always remember the joy from the life they had shared together.

The delicate bird stopped during certain moments when people spoke of the memories they had shared with him. Cocking his head from time to time he listened to words and tried to remember—for this is all he had now.  Attempting to make a sound so she might turn her head; a silent noise stuck in his throat, and now she would never know he was there.

Three people watched the bird closely from their seats, and he knew they realized who he might be. The three mourners had already decided that he was not really a proud graceful crane walking across the grass – he was simply the departed in another form, trying to tell his wife he was okay.

The spoken words of love suddenly stopped, and everyone became silent. The crane knew he must go; but somehow had to tell her that he had read the beautiful card she had made for him.

“The heavens part the high planets, blade parts back and edge; not even eternity can part souls that are sealed in love.”

“Yes”,  he thought. Eternity will never separate our souls as we are forever sealed with love. Remember that my darling; never ever forget he seemed to say with his eyes.

And with that, as quickly as he had appeared, he was suddenly gone. Those that had seen him spoke quietly, and told each other their thoughts. They knew that when the heavens had grown clear, he had come.

His soul had descended “when the mountain brims grew bright” to speak of his eternal love for her. Others would tell Johanna later that her husband had been there to tell her that he loved her one final time.  After that day there is no doubt in my mind that we never lose the people we lost— not even after death.

In memory of those who we loved.

This was a true story that happened to me at a private funeral in Napa Valley in California. I wrote this piece a few hours after I left the memorial servic and forwarded it to her later.  I also used a handful of selected words used in a scattered “here nor there fashion”  from the memorial card Johanna had made for her departed husband, Bruce.  The selected words she used were from : Journey’s End (Ferdalok)