But what was different was—no coffin. Tony was a Buddhist, a Dharma Punk Buddhist, and had let his wife and others know how he wanted his life celebrated. So there were lots of photos of Tony looking like Tony including the first shot of him as a baby lifting his head. They were on magnetized bulletin boards and in a computer screen slide show and in photo albums passed round. Couldn't have missed who he was from the start. And there was a wire thing holding up a tee shirt he loved to wear that says TATTOOS SOLVE EVERYTHING.
A lot of people from all of Tony's worlds showed up, so many that the line to give condolences to his mother and father and sister and brother and wife snaked out the door of the room, a big one, and stayed that way for the three hours I was there. So sweet to see so much love for the family to feel. The group of friends I was part of made a particularly strong showing, which made me feel happy to know such loving souls.
Tomorrow some Buddhist monks will do some chanting in the same room of the funeral home, and some of us will say a few words, and hopefully some will make us laugh, the way Tony always laughed. One of my great pleasures in life was getting Tony to laugh. His joy was so pure and unconditional. May his spirit forever rest in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
[Tony with his daughters, last summer I'd guess]