Daily Archives: April 30, 2010

Cardboard Cut-Out Dead Dad

Paul Challis cardboard cut-out dead dadThis week has been a mixture of sex and death. Entrances and exits if you will. I was going to post something on sky burials but that got pipped to the post by this morning’s story of Paul Challis because it ties in so well with the Puerto Rican embalmed biker, David Morales Colón who was buried yesterday.

Paul Challis, pictured above, is literally, pictured. He died last year from cancer at the age of 38 and his adoring wife Maria had the life-size cut-out of him made for his funeral. However, afterwards she decided to keep the cut-out in their living room so that the children never forget him.

The story in the Telegraph is very touching and incredibly tragic as the couple seemed like a perfect match sharing jokes and banter about his impending death. Maria even took her husband’s cut-out to a friend’s wedding after his funeral but I am concerned that this is going to impair and undoubtedly prolong the grieving process; especially for the children.

I also know from my own research that pictures of loved ones are not simply pictures. Even if we know that a photograph is not the real object, adults can not easily destroy pictures of sentimental objects or spouses. We may consciously say that we can do these things but deep down we feel anxiety about damaging or disposing of representations. Imagine how difficult it will be for the Challis family to throw Paul out with the rubbish or burn him on the garden tip. I predict that the family will have to endure another funeral ceremony all over again for the cardboard cut-out dad.

What do you think?

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Filed under In the News, Newspaper, Weird Story of the Week