undercuts that sentiment


In "Tumor" book, by Anna Leahy, the author was talking about a died woman who had written her obituary:

In her writing, after recounting memories of her life, some of them quite sentimental ... She requests, in reference to what is often attributed to Dr. Seuss or Gabriel García Márquez, that those who attend her funeral not cry because she’s gone but smile because she existed at all. How sweet. Too sweet. So she undercuts that sentiment with instructions to cry a bit because, after all, she’s dead.

Which "sentiment"? And where is this "instructions to cry"?
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The sentiment the author is talking about is the feeling that the woman expressed when she said that she didn't want people to be sad that she was dead. Instead she wanted to people to be happy that she existed and was once alive.

    I don't know where the instructions to cry are. If they are not in the book at all, this is the author's way of telling you that the woman gave those instructions without the author's quoting them.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Presumably having second thoughts, she undercuts (tones down) the too-sweet sentiment of asking her funeral guests not to cry, by telling them to feel free to cry a little, after all.