‘I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.’ – Irvin S. Cobb
Although I loved this quote I had never heard of this guy so did a little (and I mean very little) research. Here is a short blurb from Wikipedia “Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb (June 23, 1876 – March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, and columnist who lived in New York and authored more than 60 books and 300 short stories.”
Reading further on the entry:
“Cobb wrote a letter detailing his desired funeral arrangements. The document reads in part: “Above all I want no long faces and no show of grief at the burying ground. Kindly observe the final wishes of the undersigned and avoid reading the so-called Christian burial service which, in view of the language employed in it, I regard as one of the most cruel and paganish things inherited by our forebears from our remote pagan ancestors. In deference to the faith of our dear mother who was through her lifetime a loyal though never bigoted communicant of that congregation, perhaps the current pastor of the First Presbyterian Church would consent to read the Twenty-third Psalm, which was her favorite passage in the Scriptures and is mine since it contains no charnel words, no morbid mouthings about corruption and decay and, being mercifully without creed or dogma, carries no threat of eternal hell-fire for those parties we do not like, no direct promise of a heaven which, if one may judge by the people who are surest of going there, must be a powerfully dull place, populated to a considerable and uncomfortable degree by prigs, time-servers and unpleasantly aggressive individuals. Hell may have a worse climate but undoubtedly the company is sprightlier. The Catholics, with their genius for stage-management, handle this detail better. The officiating clergyman speaks in Latin and the parishioners, being unacquainted with that language are impressed by the majesty of the rolling, sonorous periods without being shocked by tressing allusions and harrowing references.”
Seems like my kind of guy. My instructions for my funeral run in a similar vein, and one key instruction is for no suits and ties. Hated wearing them in life and I am not going to make someone wear one when I die. In fact I would prefer if everyone came like I will be attired while lying in the coffin, Hawaiian shirts for everyone.
So I will be looking for some of his writings in the future.