Victor Perez Cardona’s last request was to leave his life the way he lived it: in the hot seat of a taxi cab.
It may be strange to the casual internet peruser, but the sight of the Cardona sitting up, fedora placed jauntily atop his head, hands wrapped around the steering wheel, was completely apropos for those who knew the late taxi driver.
It’s not a direction we often go with funerals and memorials, which usually demonstrate the sorrow and pronounced distance with which we, as a society, view death and those death has taken from us. But maybe it’s a direction more of us should consider. Certainly there’s no lack of respect, admiration, or love in this final gesture Cardona’s family has offered him, but there’s also a distinct air of celebration: celebration of the man, his work, his life. And, of course, his unique sense of style. I mean, few of us can rock a fedora on any day, let alone the day of our funerals.
ABC News writes that the Marin Funeral Home in Puerto Rico, where Cardona’s service was held, has conducted a number of such “thematic wakes” in the past. At his funeral in 2014, the body of late boxer Christopher Rivera was propped up in a fake boxing ring. In June of the same year, Miriam Burbank was sent off in style, with manicure in-tact and cigarette in hand. A disco ball held aloft, symbolic of Burbank’s tremendous verve. Our personal favorite (which is a strange thing to say with regard to funerals, but we’re getting into the spirit of the “extreme embalming” movement) is socialite and philanthropist Mickey Easterling, whose memorial service saw him decked in pink feather boa, flamboyant to the end (and then some).
Even death cannot curtail the human spirit.