Aveson, Robert "Leaves From the Journal of a Boy Emigrant ," Deseret News, 12 Mar. 1921, 4:7.
- Related Companies
- Company Unknown (1861)
The second story, which is also one of sadness, occurred in the year 1861, while on the plains en route to Utah. One of the families in the immigrant train had the misfortune to lose a child by death. Before the train started early one morning, my informant noticed a man walking slowly along with a dead child in his arms; his wife following him, carrying a pick and shovel with which to dig the grave. They wended their way a short distance from the camp to the edge of some low hills; and after a short pause, the bereaved father commenced to dig a grave. The mother sat down on the grass, her head bored [bowed] down, her eyes bathed in tears. Ah, it is only those who have passed through similar scenes of grief that can fully realize the pangs of sorrow endured by those parents! No doubt it was one of the greatest trials in their lives. While the grave was being dug, the heart broken parent observed his partner through life in great distress and almost overcome with grief. He paused, offered words of encouragement and tried his best to console her, saying: "Cheer up, lass, cheer up. Let us look on the bright side. It is a severe ordeal to pass through. Don't you remember the elders in our home town telling us that our pathway would not always be smooth, that we might pass through fiery trials. Our child was very dear to us. The last sad rites will have to be performed. We must complete our task. The grave must be dug and the child buried. How often have we sung that beautiful hymn:
"Think not when you gather to Zion,
Your troubles and trials are through."
And leaning toward his wife he kissed her and said: "Be comforted my dear girl. Let us trust in the Lord—He can all our sorrows heal."
Then he completed the digging of the grave. They wrapped the dear little corpse in a sheet, covered it in a blanket, and placed it in the new grave. After which the parents knelt down by the little mound and offered a brief prayer, then with tears in their eyes, slowly retraced their steps to their camp wagon.