Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral

I read this title by Kris Radish several years ago. It came to mind yesterday, talk about life imitating art. This past weekend an old and very dear friend of mine passed away. I had the honour of being an honorary pall bearer. Prior to the service I met one of her friends who said “Are you Karen? I’ve heard a lot about you.” As we spoke I said “This is like something out of a novel”. Later in the afternoon, it hit me what it reminded me of – Anne Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral.

When Annie passed away her friend Katherine receives a unique delivery from UPS. It is a pair of red sneakers containing Annie’s ashes and a set of instructions. Thus starts a great adventure – the traveling funeral that begins in California and ends in New York. Five close friends of Annie’s gather together for the road trip that sees them sprinkling her ashes at various stops along the way, that held so much meaning to Annie. Some of these women have met before, and some have only heard about each other. Colleague, neighbour or hospice worker they are all women who were close to Annie’s heart.  It becomes a celebration of Annie’s life and the spirit of friendship. I have always loved this book and right now it’s hard to even write about it without getting goosebumps.

So here’s to the friends in our lives and the circumstances that bring us together. By the way I exchanged phone numbers with the other honorary pall bearer. I can’t help but think that Dorothy is watching over us and leading us to each other. Thank you friend. You will be missed.


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