Post by redskyatnight on Aug 20, 2008 8:39:46 GMT -5
Corpse kept upright for 3-day wake in Puerto Rico 17 hours ago
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Puerto Rican man has been granted his wish to remain standing — even in death. A funeral home used a special embalming treatment to keep the corpse of 24-year-old Angel Pantoja Medina standing upright for his three-day wake.
Dressed in a Yankees baseball cap and sunglasses, Pantoja was mourned by relatives while propped upright in his mother's living room.
His brother Carlos told the El Nuevo Dia newspaper the victim had long said he wanted to be upright for his own wake: "He wanted to be happy, standing."
The owner of the Marin Funeral Home, Damaris Marin, told The Associated Press the mother asked him to fulfill her dead son's last wish.
Pantoja was found dead Friday underneath a bridge in San Juan and buried Monday. Police are investigating.
Well, I wouldn't do that, but I do intend to have myself rolled out 15 minutes late to my own funeral.
Those who know me would get the joke...
Brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it badly enough.
 Death and burial Edward Abbey died on March 14, 1989 due to complications from surgery. Abbey died after four days of esophageal hemorrhaging, due to esophageal varices, a recurrent problem with one group of veins. Showing his sense of humor, he left a message for anyone who asked about his final words: "No comment." Abbey also left instructions on what to do with his remains. These instructions were described in an Outside magazine article written by David Quammen in June 1989:
He wanted his body transported in the bed of a pickup truck. He wanted to be buried as soon as possible. He wanted no undertakers. No embalming, for Godsake! No coffin. Just an old sleeping bag... Disregard all state laws concerning burial. "I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree." said the message.
As for graveside ceremony: He wanted gunfire, and a little music. "No formal speeches desired, though the deceased will not interfere if someone feels the urge. But keep it all simple and brief." And then a big happy raucous wake. He wanted more music, gay and lively music. He wanted bagpipes. "And a flood of beer and booze! Lots of singing, dancing, talking, hollering, laughing, and lovemaking." said the message. And meat! Beans and chilis! And corn on the cob. Only a man deeply in love with life and hopelessly soft on humanity would specify, from beyond the grave, that his mourners receive corn on the cob.
A 2003 Outside article described how his friends honored his request:
"The last time Ed smiled was when I told him where he was going to be buried," says Doug Peacock, an environmental crusader in Edward Abbey's inner circle. On March 14, 1989, the day Abbey died from esophageal bleeding at 62, Peacock, along with his friend Jack Loeffler, his father-in-law Tom Cartwright, and his brother-in-law Steve Prescott, wrapped Abbey's body in his blue sleeping bag, packed it with dry ice, and loaded Cactus Ed into Loeffler's Chevy pickup. After stopping at a liquor store in Tucson for five cases of beer, and some whiskey to pour on the grave, they drove off into the desert. The men searched for the right spot the entire next day and finally turned down a long rutted road, drove to the end, and began digging. That night they buried Ed and toasted the life of America's prickliest and most outspoken environmentalist.
The article goes on to note that Abbey's body is believed to have been buried in the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Pima County, Arizona, where "you'll never find it". The friends claim to have scratched out a marker on a nearby stone, which read:
EDWARD PAUL ABBEY 1927—1989 No Comment In late March, about 200 friends of Abbey gathered near the Saguaro National Monument near Tucson and held the wake he requested.
In the late summer of 1988, an interview with Abbey appeared in "Western Winds Magazine" a newsletter for an outdoor company called Western Mountaineering. The interview, written by Paul Bousquet with some help from editor Fred Lifton, contained two quotes that were especially poignant coming so soon before his death:
ww: According to my calculations you turned 60 this year. How did this effect you? Abbey: Haven't given it much thought. It's one of those things that happen when you keep hanging around. I expect my life to become an easy downhill slide from here on. My father is 86 and still working--alone--out in the Appalachian woods every day, cutting down trees and hauling them down to the sawmill. Barring accidents internal or external, I'll probably end up doing something like that. Longevity, like intelligence or good looks, is largely a matter of heredity: choose your parents with care. Also, it helps to have a mean, rancorous, rotten disposition; us mean and ugly types are hard to kill.
ww: Have you ever come close to death? Tell us about it. Abbey: In my youth I did fool things on rock, on snow, on mountainsides and deep down in slickrock canyons, but never suffered more than the usual thrill of utter terror. Rode motorcycles for a few years. Got on a few horses I didn't understand. And again never lost anything but some skin. About five years ago some medical doctors gave me six months to live, saying I had pancreatic cancer. But they were wrong, their machines had deceived them: the dark blob on the X-ray screens and CAT-scans turned out to be some kind of portal vein thrombosis, which means that I may die at any moment of a massive internal hemorrhage. But in the meantime I feel fine and carry on as usual, having no particularly appealing alternative, and am ready for whatever happens so long as it's quick, violent and economical. And if it's not, I'll do my best to make it so. Like everyone, I've lived close to death all of my life.