When a family has to endure the unexpected death of a loved one, there are few things that can cause as much pain as that kind of loss. How we deal with it is one of the truest tests of our character, and in the case of one man’s family, they at least wanted to say goodbye in a way that’s both funny and true to the man they loved, and in doing so, they show a great amount of tenderness and humor in the wake of a tragedy.
According to ABC, Stephan Merrill, 31 of Winter Haven, Florida, died suddenly earlier this month. Without a cause of death to cite by the time they were forced to make funeral arrangements, the family was nervous, since the local newspaper required a cause of death to be printed with every obituary. Brandon Moxam, a close friend of Stephan, detailed the incident.
Everyone was starting to get a little tense. We didn’t have a cause of death but we were told we had to have one. I made a joke…say the cause of death was an ‘uppercut from Batman.’
When members of Stephan’s family all started laughing, they decided to actually list that as the cause of his death. Although the funeral director didn’t think that the paper would ultimately go for it, they ultimately relented when friends and family of Stephan’s contacted the paper. One of his close friends, Andrew Albreacht, put the situation very succinctly when he said,
It was worth it for the family. It was the only time the family was able to laugh in days. We were all laughing, and it made the situation easier to deal with.
Merrill was a big fan of comic books and superheroes, and his celebration of life service featured homages and comparisons to many of the iconic characters from DC and Marvel Comics. One of the wreaths at the service was even made to look like Captain America’s shield.
We here at GeekNation wish to extend our condolences to Merill’s family and friends in this undoubtedly difficult time, but we also need to applaud them for celebrating Stephan’s life through the things that he loved, and the things they loved about him. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two on how to cope with loss from these people, and how they were able to turn a painful moment into a wonderful tribute.
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