Little House on the Prairie

Season 1 Episode 6

If I Should Wake Before I Die

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 23, 1974 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
76 votes
  • An interesting episode with both humourous and very sad moments intertwined.

    When the best friend of an elderly widow dies, she, at aged almost 80, is left alone to contemplate life and the fact that she never sees her children or grandchildren. She is not even sure if her beloved son survived the war or not.

    In order to gather her family around her, she enlists Charles's help in informing her children that she has died and that a wake is to be held. Everyone in Walnut Grove believes that she is died and an elaborate wake is planned. When her children arrive, as she knew they would she sets about putting her plan in motion and letting them know exactly what she thinks of them.

    They certainly got the dressing down that they deserved and Charles clearly had a good time as well!
  • An elderly woman concocts a scheme to attend her own wake, in order to see her children who have neglected to visit her.

    The premise is interesting but I don't think it was executed properly. In fact, I found this episode not very touching and downright silly at times. Watch the scene with Charles explaining the plan to Caroline and her overreacting. It was an early episode and I think that Karen Grassle was still fleshing out Caroline's character and how she would respond to things. As for the 'moral of the story,' what exactly was it?
    The children were busted by Mom; they didn't come to any realizations on their own. She had to confront them first. And what kind of Mommy Dearest must she have been that all three of her kids didn't come around? There is no explanation for why there was the lack of visits, and maybe they came for the funeral to collect the moola, LOL. Why should I be touched about THAT?!
  • Miss Amy's friend middie dies on the eve of her birthday party. At the funeral her family turns up, Laura mentions to Miss Amy that folk should have there funerals while they are still alive, And so with Miss Amy starts to plan her own wake her way

    If I should wake before I die, was my mums favourite episode of little house on the prairie, she passed away last October and we saw this episode again just a few months before, its very true you can always make excuses not to do things but funerals you always attend and the actions that miss Amy took although not ethical was the only way she would have seen her family again. There where many better episodes but this one will forever be in my heart and the best episode in the whole nine year run as far as I'm concerned
  • A good lesson for us all.

    Plans are underway for a special birthday celebration for one of the town's elderly residents. She is excited because her daughter is supposed to attend. However, a telegram (or letter) arrives stating (yet again) the daughter can't make it. The depression and grief lead to the old woman's death.

    As her friend realizes how many people show up for the funeral, and her own children never visit her either, she comes up with a plan to fake her death so she can see them before she, too, passes away for real. The few folks in on the ruse think it's a bad idea, but they aren't really given much choice.

    Dressed all in black, veil and all, she watches as one after another of her children arrive, each lamenting the fact they hadn't come to see mama sooner. Then "mama" throws back her veil and lights into each of them for it taking her "death" to bring them to town. One by one she shames them in a very tearful scene before expressing how much she loves and misses them.

    It shows us that life is so short and unpredictable. We need to find time for our loved ones. It also shows how lonely older people can be when they are forgotten. I found this episode to be heartwarming, touching, with a good lesson to boot.
  • Will Miss Amy have the joy of reuniting with her family after all?

    Most of the episodes of Little House on the Prairie touch you in some way, and I think episode was simply heartwarming.

    Maddie and Miss Amy are two old friends who keep reminiscing about their children and their grandchildren. Their children never come to visit them, and Maddie hopes that her daughter Eliza will show up for her birthday party. When she receives a letter from Eliza, claiming that she would not be able to attend, Maddie passes away. Miss Amy notices Maddie’s children and grandchildren coming together at the funeral, and after talking to Mary and Laura, comes up with the idea to fake her death so that her children would come to see her before she really passed away. She convinces Charles and Dr. Baker to help her. They are skeptic at first, but get convinced and help her out. Will Miss Amy have the joy of reuniting with her family after all?

    This episode really put tears in my eyes in the end. The reunion is very touching, and your heart really goes out to Miss Amy and her family. Josephine Hutchinson acted beautifully as the lonely Miss Amy waiting for her family. There were, of course moments of humor, especially the way everyone fools Father Gorman into performing the funeral for Miss Amy, and making him think that the real Miss Amy is Miss O’Hara, a friend of the Ingalls.

    I rate this episode 10/10.
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