Went to the wake for a coworker’s husband.
He was only 51 – cancer. It had wracked through his body very quickly.
He chose to leave his body to a medical school for research. She told me that the funeral home suggested they use a closed casket – Empty.
Instead, his family wheeled in his huge Harley. On it they piled his helmet, black and orange Harley-Davidson scarf and teeshirt. Riding was their passion, she told me, although neither he nor she were the stereotypical “biker”. Quiet professionals.
And on the Hog and piled all around it smothering it along with the huge flower arrangements were mementos and artifacts and things cherished in his life – a pillow with a frat’s initials stitched in, his eyeglasses in their case, photos and letters from his family, award plaques, shirts and hats, stuffed animals, favorite videos and DVDs…
And also what I had never seen at a wake before, two large flatscreen TVs quietly showing a slideshow of hundreds of photos. Kenny working on his boat, and shoveling snow, and being held up on a sunny day by his smiling young mother in her dress.