Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

Mrs. Wilshire lived by herself. But, she wasn’t lonely. You see, she couldn’t wait for the arrival of her daily newspaper so she could read the obituaries.

Mrs. Wilshire liked going to funerals, even if she didn’t know the deceased. She would read her paper and pick out several funerals to attend weekly.

This activity gave her reason to wash her car and pick out her wardrobe. After a drive to a church, she enjoyed the brief attention she got as an usher directed her to a seat.

She enjoyed looking at the flowers, listening to or participating in the music and hymn singing and extending sympathy.

Mrs. Wilshire liked listening to preachers and those paying tribute to the deceased. It gave her pleasure to mingle and meet new people and to listen to tales about the departed.

She collected programs handed out at the church door as she entered and could not wait to add a new one to her collection she kept in a notebook beside her bed. Mrs. Wilshire could be seen at many receptions held for departed locals. She enjoyed carrying a covered dish and sharing in some of the food provided to the family of the departed.

She socialized. She learned about people she only knew through an obituary.

Mrs. Wilshire lost her husband several years ago to cancer, and she had no immediate family. Her hobby of attending funerals filled her long hours of being by herself and apparently this fulfilled some of her needs.

Yes, some might have thought her choice of activity strange, but it washed away her sadness and gave her pleasure.

Those of only occasionally going to a funeral could count on seeing at least one friendly face. Mrs. Wilshire probably was there among the guests.

Mrs. Wilshire went to bed at night reading her Bible and looking at her program collection. She thought of the new memories she found, friends made, and her next adventure.

Mrs. Wilshire lived by herself, but she was not lonely.

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Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

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