Etiquette & superstition: death of a child

Q: What’s buried next to Grant’s Tomb? A: An amiable child. I kind of had to hunt it down even after reviewing quite a few directions, so I did feel a sense of accomplishment (if not happiness) upon finding the grave of young St. Claire Pollock. The disparity in sizes between the memorials to him and General Grant was rather touching to me. Also, there was this little kid that people liked, and he died.

ETIQUETTE: (from Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners: The Indispensable Handbook) “At a child’s funeral, its parents walk together after the coffin, with any brothers and sisters following immediately behind. At an infant’s funeral the parents may even wish to carry the coffin themselves.” Sources other than Debrett’s discuss flowers to provide for a child’s funeral, and the consensus is that pale colors and flowers in bud/blossom state are in good taste.

SUPERSTITION: Rocking an empty cradle will effect either the owner of the cradle to find it occupied within a year or the death of the last occupant of the cradle.

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