544. Sleepover


Herman had an asthma attack while scuba diving. Quite sudden. Quite unexpected. It was the end. To think, he was only sixteen.

His parents had the open coffin in their front living room. His friends from school were all invited to come if they wanted to. They could sit around the coffin and tell stories and play cards and all that. They even brought their sleeping bags and spent the night in Herman’s living room.

Come the funeral, they’d all come to terms with losing their mate. All except for Andy. He was a mess. His parents thought the idea of sitting with an open coffin wasn’t simply stupid, it was insensitive. They forbade Andy from going near Herman’s house.

Today, Andy still can’t face the reality of death.

2 thoughts on “544. Sleepover

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    This doesn’t give me the heebee-jeebies (my dad was an undertaker and we lived on the second floor, above the funeral home) but I find the idea of such a “wake” interesting….something like how I envision what it was in earlier, more simple times….with staying up all night, drinking, telling stories, weeping, singing…….maybe a saner sort of mourning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks for that. I always thought it worked well – especially with younger people… The New Zealand indigenous culture (Maori) will not leave a body alone at any stage (even in the hearse).



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