As a species and global civilization, humanity has come up with a lot of ways of honoring the dead. But I think we can all agree, the most spectacular and impressive has to be a 'traditional Viking funeral'.
That's what former GWAR frontman, Dave Brockie AKA Oderus Urungus, received in his second memorial at last Friday's GWAR-B-Q event. Brockie had his official funeral on April 1st, following his death from a heroin overdose in March this year, however Brockie's family decided the thrash metal star needed another send off surrounded by his fans.
The funeral, which actually featured Brockie's costume instead of his body, featured a funeral barge set out in the middle of Hadad's Lake in Virginia. Randy Blythe of Lamb of God was on hand to deliver a eulogy and preside over the funeral. In a statement on Instagram, he stated:
Tonight we sent Oderus home in a fitting manner at the public memorial for Dave Brockie. A blazing Viking ship with Oderus laid out in it, the cuttlefish pointing proudly straight up. Watching my friend Dave's costume go up in flames in front of a thousand fans was so much more intense for me than the private memorial for friends & family we had April Fool's Day. I spoke at both of them, as GWAR asked me to, & both times as I spoke I was sad. But watching his alter-ego burn tore me up way more than the first memorial, maybe because there was Dave, the human who was my friend who just "left us"- I never saw his body- & then there was Oderus, who was something entirely else. To watch his stage gear burn was like watching part of my life literally go up in flames. I was sobbing my eyes out as I took this photo. It was just a super-intense moment. Very beautiful, but overwhelming. Fly free, Oderus- you are missed.
There is also a clip of the moment the funeral pyre was set alight with a flaming arrow:
Unfortunately, real 'Viking funerals' are actually illegal for a number of reasons - many of them concerning the regulations around cremating the body. However, electing to burn his iconic costume instead is certainly a nice compromise and a fitting send-off.
How would you like to be said farewell to?