Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Other Reasons For Craning

Perhaps you remember The Great Craning of 2007. If not just go here and check out what happened.

I found another wonderful use of craning on Flickr, today. I was scrolling through the photos and people were making 1000 cranes. I assumed that it was for a wedding, since I've seen that a lot, even though it seemed they were making them for only one person. The more I scrolled the more the larger picture came into focus. As part of a memorial service the attendees made 1000 origami cranes to send their friend on with good luck. It made me weepy.

I would like to post a teaser photo here but all rights are reserved so you'll have to take my word about how touching the set is and click on through. I've always liked the Egyptian idea (not limited to Egyptians really, but you know) of sending people on with things to help them succeed wherever they may go. When I was 17 my great grandmother died and for some reason I ended up waiting in the funeral home for my great aunt. There was an open casket (so not my speed, I've done it 3 or 4 times now and that's plenty, thank you) and the funeral director had a paper bag and he took off Grammy's glasses, rings and watch, put them in the bag and gave them to Aunt Catherine. I was panicked. Obviously I was old enough to know that, rationally, it didn't matter, but in my heart all I could think was, "Oh my god how is she going to see in heaven?!?!?!"

Sending someone off with a shrine and cranes is so.... elegant. I wish this friend luck wherever she may be.


  1. I was 18 when my grandmother died. It was my first funeral, my first wake, my first open casket (I do okay, but sometimes find it hard to look at the empty shell without getting a little overwhelmed by the concept). My new sister-in-law and I were standing around with a couple of cousins, reminiscing about my grandmother. I remember talking about her concern for her appearance, and I said "She wouldn't be caught dead without her makeup." Well, after the horror passed, we all cracked up. Not at ALL the thing to do at a conservative New England wake. But my sister-in-law reached into her purse and pulled out a brand-new LancĂ´me compact. With my mother's permission, we had the undertaker put it in her casket before they closed the lid. It is one of my best memories of those few days. I can only hope for the same kind of irreverent spirit when I shuffle off this mortal coil.

  2. That photo set is amazing. The one towards the end with all the cranes in the tree almost made me cry. If I weren't at work...

    When my grandmother was buried, she had a cheap $3.00 rosary I gave her wrapped around her hands. Apparently, she had asked for that one.