when my great great grandma and great great great grandpa stayed up all night crafting a coffin for a home funeral... summer of 1887

Back in the summer of 1887, my great great grandmother and her father, my great great great grandfather, stayed up all night making a coffin out of whatever they could find. They lived on a homestead in the Dakotas, and when their good friend died, there was no access to the typical funeral "things." They used a board from the attic and lined it with cheesecloth. They carried it to the family under the seat of their buckboard. A simple ceremony took place. A lovely home funeral.

I've been reflecting on spirituality & ancestry, generally, and my own connection with my blood ancestors, specifically. I've been particularly inspired from listening to the podcast Bespoken Bones (http://bespokenbones.com/). And then.... my great great grandmother's personal home funeral account falls into my hands! I'm in awe.

I was absolutely delighted to receive a copy of this letter from my mom, who got it from my aunt. I had no idea that coffin-building (specifically, parent-daughter coffin-building*) and home funerals ran in my blood! I feel humbled, connected, and joyful. Thanks for letting me share. (And a special thanks to Aunt Lenore for taking note and sharing.) Read the whole story below, if you like.

love, sarah