Sabtu, 09 Februari 2008

Heath Ledger cremated; mourners jump into the ocean in his honor


Heath Ledger’s remains were finally cremated yesterday, after what sounds like a beautiful and fitting tribute to the young actor. There was a memorial which was attended by hundreds, as well as a small private funeral. Heath’s family, ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams, actress Cate Blanchett, and fellow Perth-born model Gemma Ward joined the hundreds of mourners at the large first service, which was held in the theater of Guildford Grammar school. Michelle was reportedly distraught throughout the service. Both Heath’s sister Kate Ledger and Cate Blanchett gave speeches, and Heath’s favorite songs were played.

A mourner told the paper, "Kate (Ledger) spoke of the unique bond she shared with her brother, how he would ring her three or four times a day and how he never forgot his friends even at the height of his fame."

Blanchett also delivered an emotional eulogy.

"He achieved so much in his short life and was capable of so much in the future," she said.

Ledger's favorite songs were played at the memorial, including "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes, "The Times, They are A-Changin'" by Bob Dylan, the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" and "Come Together," and Ben Harper's "Happily Ever After," which Harper wrote for Ledger and Williams' two-year-old daughter Matilda.

[From Us Weekly]

During what was described as a subdued wake at the Indiana Tea House on Cottesloe Beach, many mourners, including Michelle Williams, jumped into the ocean as the sun was setting.

At least 50 people attending the wake ran onto the beach and many began to take off their clothes. While some women took the plunge in their black dresses, other men and women stripped down to just their underwear and jumped into the ocean.

Williams, still wearing her cream-colored sundress and black sunglasses, was briefly dragged into the water as everyone cheered. She was then quickly surrounded by a group of mourners, creating a protective circle around the actress.

Those in the water laughed and cheered as Michelle watched from the shore. Ledger's sister Kate also took a dive into the water and was surrounded by pals splashing around her while her father Kim Ledger watched from the restaurant's balcony and shouted, "Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!" giving two thumbs up in the air.

As the sun began to set, the swimmers came on shore and stood in a line on both sides of Williams and linked arms. In the last five minutes, as the sun moved toward the horizon, the mourners stood in silence, watching and embracing.

[From People]

What a lovely tribute to Heath. I have always been a big fan of the idea of funerals as a celebration of a person’s life, but the younger and/or more tragically they die, the harder that is to do. It sounds like Heath’s family mixed the unavoidably heart wrenching memorials, funerals, and wakes with a bit of a celebration of Heath’s infectious spirit.

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