My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Death is always a revealing thing. As I looked at Mrs. Roosevelt's face in the repose which comes after death, I understood many things which the animation and play of expression in everyday life probably prevented one from seeing. The lines were smoothed out, the stark beauty of contour and the peace which death alone can bring remained.

I think that today everything was done as she would have wished it. She loved her own home and her own place. On her coffin there rested only the spray of flowers made from flowers grown in her own garden and greenhouse, by the gardener who has been with her well over 40 years.

Around were banked the floral offerings which paid tribute to her kindness and affection for many individuals, and to her faithful service in many organizations. I think she would have been just as pleased with the flowers which same as a tribute of sympathy to her son.

In the room she liked so well, the rector, Mr. Wilson, read the simple but beautiful Episcopal service, and the church choir sang two hymns which she always liked to sing. The men on the place carried the casket and there were more flowers which one of her nieces, Miss Laura Delano, arranged around the grave.

She had long contemplated this final resting place beside her husband. I think she had an affection for the trees and the familiar countryside around this old church and for this spot in the church yard, where she had so often gone to lay flowers on the grave of her husband.

She would have liked to have just the family and friends who were here, about her. I wish that all the grandchildren could have been present, but it was fortunate at a time like this, that so many could pay her this last tribute of respect and love.

I think everyone is conscious of the fact that the house and place in which she lived so long will never be quite the same without her. She was a strong personality and left an imprint not only on the people she knew so well, but on the surroundings which she created.

My husband has as great a devotion to the place as his mother had, but it is different, I think. She thought that the land was tied with her family forever. With him, there are memories of youth and of his parents which can never be obliterated, but he does not count on the same kind of future that she liked to plan.

E. R.
PNews, SHJ, 10 September 1941