Wilma Bremer's Funeral

Williams, Marie Sheppard

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet
  • Date of entry: Feb-19-1998


A woman who works at a rehabilitation center for the blind reflects on the deaths of the people around her, clients as well as patients. She recounts the reaction of the staff to the death of a well-loved employee of the center whose name the narrator doesn't recognize. As she assists the blind clients at the funeral home, she suddenly realizes she did know the dead woman, but never had known her name. The narrator reflects on how a sight-impaired friend of hers, Vange, approaches life with supreme attentiveness, and never misses any details. The colleague's funeral reminds the narrator that living means being more like Vange.


In this effective and moving story the narrator, who is fully sighted, discovers that in many ways she has been blind herself. The narrator helps others deal with their grief and she deals with her own, and ends up realizing that even when she does her best to pay attention she always fails to notice something.

This story helps the reader consider what it means to be alive, what it means to die, and what we all should do to become more alive.


Published in The American Voice,1994 (332 W. Broadway, Ste. 1215, Louisville, KY 40202). The author is a social worker.

Primary Source

The 1996 Pushcart Prize XX: Best of the Small Presses



Place Published

Wainscott, N.Y.




Bill Henderson

Page Count