Deciding to build one’s own coffin is decidedly unusual, but, with Peter Warren’s help, I did it. The project would have forever rested in obscurity had I not written a short piece about the experience and had the gumption to submit it to The New York Times. It’s publication generated a response far beyond anything that I had anticipated: letters, emails, radio interviews, and two film documentaries. My fifteen minutes.
I hope that my responses to all this attention were coherent enough to keep it all in perspective. Yes, Peter and I did build a beautiful wooden box of proper dimensions for body and crematorium. At least that was our initial intent, and this sequence of images takes you through the construction. I still look at the transformation of the old, dirty wood to finished product with pride and amazement. But I also hope that the images show something more profound–the love that developed between two friends as they committed themselves to producing something meaningful and which eventually surpassed the significance of anything constructed from wood.
See the Building the Coffin photo gallery.