Greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. No one likes a mean-spirited and unfriendly person, and it is much more worthwhile to do something good with your money while you are alive than to try to take it with you after you die. One woman understood the negative impacts of greed, but not her husband. Her clever actions are great lesson for anyone who has not learned the truth behind the old saying: “You can’t take it with you.”

As the story from an unknown writer goes, the man worked very hard all his life. He saved up his money, year after year, and hated to spend an extra penny on anything he purchased. The old man even went so far as to want to be buried with his money.

 He was a real cheapskate when it came to his money, the story says and he loved money more than just about anything, and just before he died, he said to his wife, “Now listen, when I die I want you to take all my money and place it in the casket with me. Because I want to take all my money to the afterlife.”

His wife, of course, was a kind hearted woman who wanted to do good by her husband. She must have been appalled when she heard this selfish request, but she did her best to keep the vows she had made so many years before. Her husband was ultimately able to guilt her into promising with all her heart that she would bury the man’s money with him when he pass away.

When that day came, the lady had a decision to make. She was still alive herself, and she could certainly have used that money. When you are past the age of working full time, spending stresses the mind more than when you are young. But the promise remained, and it weighed on her heart. Finally, the woman came up with a clever trick. 

Her husband was stretched out in the casket, the wife was sitting there in black next to their best friend. When they finished the ceremony, just before the undertakers got ready to close the casket, the wife said, “Wait a minute!” This was it, the moment of truth. Her friend watched in disbelief as the woman carried out her ridiculous promise. Since she was a woman of her word, she did not want to carry the guilt of breaking this promise, no matter how little sense it made. She had a shoebox with her, she came over with the box and placed it in the casket. Then the undertakers locked the casket and rolled it away.

At this point her friend had had enough. She just had to ask about the ridiculous request. “I hope you were not crazy enough to put all that money in there with that stingy old man,” she stated.

The now-widow proved her loyalty once again. She said, “Yes, I promised. I’m a good Christian, I can’t lie. I promised him that I would put that money in that casket with him.”

Okay, are you ready for the really good part? This is where the whole story turns around. “You mean to tell me you put every cent of his money in the casket with him?” the friend asked. “I sure did,” answered the wife. “I got it all together, put it into my account and I wrote him a check.” The wife kept her end of the bargain, now let’s see if her husband can cash that check.

Greed doesn’t look good on anyone. This adorable story proves just how silly it is to value material goods over what really matters.

By Tim Pedrosa

TThere is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes. –Unknown