The Jervis McEntee Diaries - November 3, 1883

Diary Entry:

Saturday, Nov 3, 1883 The mountains were white with snow this morning. Last night I wrote brief notices of my mothers death to Mrs. Lewis Perrin, Uncle Patricks daughter, to Mary Waldo, Uncle Morris, Aunt Charlotte, Eastman Johnson, Booth, Gustavus Swan, Mary Gifford, Maj. Wilkinson & Mrs Sawyer as well as a letter more in detail to Lucy, but today we concluded not to send most of them until we were able to fix the day of the funeral. Sara lay in Mas bed in her room we having put my mother on Saras little bed which she had in her room, but she could not sleep. We wanted her to go to her own room and get a good rest. Girard came over and he and I stayed in the sitting room. I lay down a part of the time on the sofa but could not sleep. We kept my mothers room warm and her covered for her body retained its warmth and we wished to provide against any possibility of her not being really dead. My father did not get to bed until after 11 oclock and he said this morning he had not slept much. I went down to Rondout after breakfast to see about her coffin, and selected the simplest one I could find. As an instance of the absurdities which have come to be a part of funeral expenses the handles for this casket cost fourteen dollars. I found there was not use of them except for vulgar display and I dispensed with them as we are to have no hearse but will carry over to her grave on the same bier which bore dear Gertrude. I am to notify them when to bring the casket up. A telegram came from Joe in answer to mine of last night saying Gussie would leave St. John tonight for Bangor where she will probably have to stay over until Monday morning, and she will probably arrive here Tuesday forenoon. Mary to whom I also telegraphed came up on the 8 oclock train from N. Y. A number of people have called Mrs Cornell, who has come five different times to see my mother but has never seen her during her illness. She had a great desire to see her and Sara took her in and let her look upon her. She looked so young and so peaceful that she was greatly gratified and I am glad she saw her. Dr Magee to whom I sent a note asking him to conduct the services came up as did also Jane Decker to whom my dear mother had been most kind in her struggles and Julia Rockafeller. Mrs Ned Tomkins and her daughter. Calvert came up by the evening train and Downing met him. I had two or three hours sleep in my room and will sleep on the sofa in the sitting room tonight. We took Calvert in to see my mother. She looks so sweet and so peaceful and so young with her pretty brown hair and a look of complete rest upon her face. These changes of expression which the human face undergoes after death are very strange. Several times today I have forgotten she is gone and felt my solicitude for her, walking carefully by her room not to disturb her. I sent a notice of her death to Bowyer to put into the Tribune and took one to the Freeman which appeared this evening. It has been a restful day of brooding skies. My father Mary and I went over to the cemetery to mark the place for her grave and to see about having it dug. Sara was to have gone along but Mrs. Stringham came and she wanted to consult her on some things. Pa drove over while Mary and I walked and we went over to the view before we returned. The petunias on dear Gertrudes grave are still green and one was in blossom.

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