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My father always joked about having a viking funeral. He always said he wanted to be sent off in a flaming ship, so that lookers on would remember his happiness and his sense of humor and take joy in his life, and have some respite from their sadness. Whenever he joked  about it, we would laugh, and I never really thought about the fact that one day he would be gone. But then his life was cut so unnecessarily short in a car accident. After that I thought about it all the time. It seemed so unfair that someone so dedicated to helping others should have his life stolen from him in such an avoidable way. And at his funeral, I thought about how he wouldn’t have wanted his loved ones to be crying their tears in some stuffy funeral home. I’m not sure what he would have wanted, but I know it wouldn’t have been that. I suppose it didn’t matter so much, because he was gone. But every year, on the last day of summer, I build a model boat and drive it to a secluded lake. There, I light it on fire, and think of my dad.

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