Amish Burials and Death

by JOHN
(ULYSSES, KS)

I have heard that after Amish burials the deceased is never mentioned again. Is this true?

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John, I really don't know the answer to this question. Perhaps one of our other readers can throw some light on this aspect of Amish life.

I do know that death within the Amish community is viewed as something that is a natural process in the circle of life and that the death of family members and friends is accepted as God's will. The death of a loved one is seen as something that will also bring them closer to God.

The Amish deal with their grief very privately and in a controlled, stoic and reserved manner. Another way of showing acceptance of God's plan. This is not to because they feel less emotion - of course they do, but just that the showing of their grief is something that is done in private rather than an outward show of emotion.

As friends and family will visit a family who has lost a loved one every Sunday, for at least a year, perhaps they do talk about them during that time. To me that would be inevitable and natural.

What the Amish don't do is they never go back to visit the grave as for them, the spirit has left the body and there is no point in visiting what is not there.

Regards
Kathryn

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Jun 16, 2012
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John N.Berlin NY
by: Anonymous

I asked my Amish neighbor about an outsider paying their respects to an Amish friend and was told I would not be allowed to do so.

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It is extremely rare for an outsider to be invited to pay their respects after an Amish death. This is not to say that it never happens, but it has happened, but as I said, it is very rare.

Any outsider who would be allowed to pay their respects after an Amish death would be someone whom they have interacted with over many, many years and have come to know extremely well.

As you know, the Amish separate themselves from the outside world, and deliberately shun any contact with Outsiders.

If relationships with the English or "Outsiders" are made, these are largely superficial. However, there is the rare occasion where paths do meet repeatedly, and for some reason, a connection is made.

One such Outsider, Joe Mackell, was actually invited to drive his Amish neighbor and his 4 year old daughter from Ohio to Canada for his mother's funeral due to the fact that his wife was going to be delivering a new baby within the week and he wanted to get to the funeral and back for the new birth. Taking public transport would have meant that he would either have missed the funeral or possibly the new birth on the way back.

However, to do this his Amish friend and neighbor, Samuel had to seek permission from his bishop to be allowed to travel to the funeral driven by this Outsider.

As they had arrived in the middle of the night, he was given a bed to sleep within the Amish household.

The following day Samuel's uncle asked him to attend the funeral and travel with him in his buggy as part of the funeral procession. After which, he was also invited the traditional meal held after the funeral.

Joe Mackell wrote about his experiences in a book called "Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish". It certainly makes an interesting read.

Regards
Kathryn
Countryfarm Lifestyles

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