Don’t leave me this way, a death video

Birds of a feather flock together

The 1980s were replete with remixed versions of popular songs.  Take, for example, the Communards.  I know what you’re thinking. Who?  Hailing from Britain, the Communards made a brilliant remix of the famous Thelma Houston disco hit “Don’t leave me this way”, which was a remake of a song written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert.   But I digress.

One day while listening to the extended remix over drinks with my best friend and my boyfriend, I decided to don a blue dress adorned with fake flowers sewn to the edges and a blue feathered, helmet style, wig.  Fit out in feathers and flowers, I embarked on a lip sync performance to upstage all others.  I belted out the remix in its entirety, cabaret style.  portapack My friend grabbed our camcorder and began to videotape the performance. Remember, this was decades before social media, mobile phones, and selfies.  This video is pure gold.  Twenty minutes of a dancing blue nymph, while in the background my boyfriend performs various acts of suicide (it is a very long song!).   At age 24,  I decided this would become my death video.

Now, deciding to have a death video at twenty four may seem premature, but you haven’t seen this video.  Everyone at my wake will be in stitches.

This is my wish, I don’t want people to cry over me.

The preservation of my death video is in the hands of a dear friend.  Think about it, you need someone to protect such a valuable piece of history.  They need to maintain the right format because formats change over time.  They need to have a way to play the video at a wake years from now.  Whom you choose is very important.  You must find someone responsible enough to carry out your last wish.

Recently,  while watching “Man on the Moon”, (1999, Milos Forman),  I realized I was not alone in this concept. Jim Carey appears as Andy Kaufman lying peacefully in a casket.  Behind him, an animated Andy appears on a projection screen and encourages the attendees of the wake to join him in song.  He exclaims, “follow the bouncing ball” as if they are crooning at a karaoke club.  The sadness in the room immediately changes to laughter.

The message?  Celebrate life, not death.

Barrow’s Dream: Voices of the Deceased

Say goodbye to your neighborhood scéance and say hello to the VEGM.  The Video-Enhanced Grave Marker is the latest offering in voices from beyond the grave.  This is the death video taken to new heights.  Imagine, you walk through the cemetery, remote in hand, and as you approach the tombstone of your treasured someone they begin to speak to you.

Soothing? Creepy?  I’m not sure.

I’ve always found places of rest as peaceful parcels tucked into the landscape.  A place to sleep in quiet for all eternity.  With the VEGM, I picture a cacophony of voices yapping in unison from the other side.

No thanks.  But who am I to argue with progress.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 12.25.15 PM
Patent US 7089495 B2 – Robert M. Barrows

Google Search…Death Video

A Google search for death video turns up a glut of horrifying videos showing the darker side of humanity. Suicides on video, ISIS beheadings and shots of dead bodies are at the top of the list.  It makes me sad that the world has lost a sense of humor.  As this may not be your intended search, try typing funeral video instead and you are right back on track.  These video companies create a narrative from the photos and videos you provide, painting a beautiful portrait of your loved one’s existence. Here are some resources:

Better yet, with today’s technology, capture and collect some of life’s richer moments on your own.  You know yourself better than anyone else.  Tell your story, entrust a friend to guard it for a few decades, and violà!  You now have your own, homemade death video!




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