It's Your Funeral
The first-she's-dead, now-she's-not woman, Whitney Cerak, is on the mend.
Surely you'll recall the bizarre scenario several weeks ago in which Cerak was believed to have died in an April 26 car accident. In a sort of tragicomic version on The Parent Trap, however, Cerak was actually alive and comatose -- and misidentified as a Laura VanRyn, a classmate of Cerak's and a woman who had not survived the deadly crash. As both women were blonde and had similar features, VanRyn's family kept vigil at Cerak's hospital bedside, wrongly under the impression that the heavily injured patient was their 22-year-old daughter.
Anyway, a blog operated by Whitney's family reports that the 19-year-old Michigan native is laughing and cracking wise. And she apparently even thanked her church pastor for speaking at her funeral -- which, we now know, was inadvertently the funeral for Laura VanRyn.
This is fascinating stuff. If you're a functioning human being, chances are you have dreamt about -- or at least pondered -- the notion of attending your own funeral. The dream must be as common as the tried-and-true falling-through-the-air dream, the stuck-at-school-in-my-underwear dream, or the ever-popular "Match Game"'s-Brett Somers-seduced-my-cat dream (or maybe that's just me).
Anyway, Whitney has had an opportunity that hopefully few of us will ever be afforded. She can pore over every detail of her funeral. And luckily for her, the funeral drew an overflow crowd of more than 1,400 mourners.
Can you imagine if it had been sparsely attended? If no one cried? If her boyfriend hit on a relative? If one of the pallbearers had worn flip-flops? If her parents had purchased a coffin from the budget bin? Boy, oh, boy -- try explaining that to your recently revived daughter.
Whitney Cerak has been doubly blessed. Not only is she out of her coma, but her funeral was a big success and she is alive to hear all about it. And even better, it's kind of a valuable run-through for when the real thing finally arrives. Whitney's family now knows what worked, what didn't, what was just "too deathy."
On a related note, we think it might be a nice gesture for Whitney's family to share her with the VanRyns, who must now grieve the death of their daughter after spending weeks thinking she still had a fighting chance. Maybe a joint custody sort of thing? Or visitation? Fair is fair.