Emily, who has died in childbirth, is given the opportunity to see
Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I'm dead. You're a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally's dead, too. Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it - don't you remember? But, just for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's look at one another. (pause, looking desperate because she has received no answer. She speaks in a loud voice, forcing herself to not look at her mother) I can't. I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. (she breaks down sobbing, she looks around) I didn't realize. All that was going on in life and we never noticed. Take me back - up the hill - to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners? Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking? and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths? and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. (she asks abruptly through her tears) Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every, every minute?
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town Harper Publishing, 1957, pp.99-100.