It started with a phone call on a Sunday afternoon. As is sometimes the case my cell was charging with the ringer off. The voicemail said "Hi, I am calling about a casket. We need it right away, S. died early this morning. I don't suppose you'll be in until Monday but could you please give me a call?" I returned the call shortly after and discovered that they needed the casket as soon as possible as they were having some artists come to paint the outside of the casket. It was to be delivered to a First Nation community locally so this quick turnaround was possible. I set to work that afternoon.
When I delivered the casket the next afternoon I was greeted with a warm hug and a thank you by a family member. She informed me that S. had talked about a fiddlehead casket after he had received his terminal diagnosis but his time had been cut shorter than expected. His father-in-law had been asked to assemble the kit and then two Wolastoqiyik artists were coming to paint the outside to represent the Wolastoq river. This was to honour his wife, a Wolastiqiyik woman, to the last day. The resulting piece of art they created is stunning and would never be available anywhere else. My hope is that the process brought a touch of comfort to a very hard time.