Alternate Endings: Six New Ways to Die in America (2019) Movie Script

-Uh, yes.
-Man: What is
the company your with?
A-I-M Holographics.
It's just amazing.
The NFDA is the largest
funeral directors organization,
and they've got the single
largest convention
in the country.
If you've got anything to do
with the funeral industry,
you're here.
So, I'm happy to be here.
(chuckling) This is great.
(fife and drum corps playing)
So, what we're doing is
we're holding a mobile device
near any of our products,
and up comes
a full digital footprint
of that person.
All their social media links,
picture albums, video albums,
even a GPS location of
where that person may be at.
- Celebrate life today.
-Carl Minardo: That's right.
Let my values guide you.
Why wouldn't you wanna do
this for your own legacy,
and say it yourself
from your heart
what was important to you
in your life with no filter?
Your words, your image.
But this gives you an idea
of how realistic it is.
That's what you
would look like
in your eulogy
or your life legacy
when you're talking
about yourself.
So everything that you
see here that we create
is fully customizable.
If you think it,
we can make it.
You know, it's all about making
that dream come to reality.
This is Beloved.
We write custom
obituaries, and we...
turn over a custom piece
within 30 hours or less.
This is a Handful of Home,
beautifully crafted containers
holding pure Irish earth.
It allows families to lay
their loved ones to rest
in the very earth
of their ancestors.
We provide biodegradable
and eco-friendly urns
and caskets for those
alternative consumers
that maybe don't want embalming
or traditional caskets
or traditional burials.
Many of the funeral homes
don't use the word "urn"
anymore as much as
they use the word
"memorial art" because
there are so many options.
You can take cremated remains
and place them in a sculpture,
give them to an artist and
put them inside portraiture,
or interwoven
inside of the glass.
In the next 10 years,
I believe a lot of funeral
homes will end up closing,
just because they're
afraid of change.
Those who aren't afraid
of change,
they will be very successful.
(waves swashing)
(birds twittering)
(bird screeches)
Leila Johnson:
My dad passed away
a handful of months ago,
and I'm here with my
Auntie Brenda and my mother
to offer his cremains
to the ocean.
Oh, you got that picture.
That's great.
-And as you see, he loved
boating, and we loved fishing.
-A lot of that happened.
-Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah.
This is my
favorite picture.
-Brenda: I know,
that's so beautiful.
-Linda: Isn't that lovely?
He loved the ocean and spent
his whole life on the water.
So, I did research
and spent a lot of time
on trying to figure out...
what would be right,
how to honor him,
what felt good, and, um...
I wish he, um...
he could know, um...
(sniffles) the decision I made.
'Cause I know how
much he would love it.
Um, I know how much
the ocean meant to him.
(indistinct chattering)
These are my dad's...
cremated remains.
I'm finding it
very hard to let go,
but, um...
putting them in a good
place to rest is...
is the idea.
We've been waiting
for a resting place.
We've been waiting to do
very, very significant,
and it's happening.
So, this is allowing us to go
forward in a very positive way.
Just don't wanna let them go.
As much as I feel
that it's part
of the process,
and, you know, just holding
onto them didn't quite feel
right as well, but...
still, I don't
wanna let them go.
Okay, so...
We have to do this,
let's do it.
My family used to have
these big funerals
in the cemetery,
and my brothers and I both
have very bad memories of that.
-Do you?
Yeah, we didn't like that.
Well, all of our family were
in this Brooklyn cemetery,
the grandparents,
the uncles and aunts,
and it was like this Sunday
afternoon thing to do.
We just didn't like it.
So, this is a very
different way to...
-very different way to
honor somebody, I think.
Very good thing to do.
It's gonna be very good for her.
She has not had time to grieve.
These are called
layer cakes,
and these are actually--
this is all part of the plan
for helping to rebuild
the environment,
and create new habitat.
Our whole goal is
making people understand
that reef loss is serious.
You know, in Hawaii,
coral bleaching has
devastated the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef
has been really devastated
by coral bleaching.
Engineered reefs are one of
the solutions that can help
try to offset the reef
that's already been lost.
When we place your father's
remains in our reef,
we mix the ashes and the
concrete in a small container,
which then gets cemented
inside the reef ball.
That structure's gonna
last 500 years or more.
And that is the legacy.
Not only is it a resting
place for your loved ones,
but it is an active, producing
part of the environment.
It's creating new life
and will do so for
hundreds of years to come.
This is awesome.
-Isn't it?
-I think it's so awesome.
Oh, it feels so good
to be a part of.
Okay, so what we're gonna ask
you to do is pour the ashes
-into this bucket.
-Leila: Can I mix it by hand?
If you'd like.
(mutters softly)
-I think we're well mixed.
-Berkoff: Yeah, whenever
you're ready.
-Whenever you're ready, dear.
-Do you need a hand with that?
-Can you handle that?
Excellent job. Excellent job.
That's so special, honey.
You put a lot of love into it.
I felt it.
These are just to keep
him company.
-Linda: Have you got more chalk?
-I'm gonna grab more...
(tractor rumbling)
-Man: You going?
-Man 2: Yeah.
Okay. One...
two... three.
(muffled thud)
(mariachi band playing)
-(music ends)
-S, seor!
(cheers, applause)
(birds chirping)
(pills rattling)
This is
my Sunday morning routine:
prepare Mom and Dad's
medication for the week.
Dad, he has COPD,
and he has lung cancer,
and he's got cancer
in his liver,
and he's got renal failure.
Mom has Parkinson's
and Mom has diabetes.
It's been rough
on the family because there's
five boys and one girl,
and we all have jobs.
We all have responsibilities,
and we all have to...
live our lives,
but in the past year and a half,
we've learned to alter our lives
to take care of Mom and Dad
now because that's...
(pills rattling)
They did a good job
taking care of us.
Now, we need
to take care of them.
And, you know,
they're good parents.
I wouldn't trade them--
Like I tell everybody,
I got the best job in the world.
I take care of Mom and Dad.
I get to drink a cup of coffee
with my mother
and father every morning.
And then I do my life.
Hey, bro.
-Daniel: What are you doing?
-Daniel: Huh?
-Making breakfast today.
(Amalia Cuevas speaks)
-(Amalia laughs)
They served you coffee. Is that
your first cup or your second?
Your third cup.
-Oh, wow.
(indistinct chatter)
Here you go, Daddy.
Let me comb your hair.
Get your hair to sit down here.
How's he look now, Mom?
-Amalia: Okay.
-Amalia: Yes.
-(Daniel wolf whistles softly)
This is
my mom's parents,
and this,
my grandma's parents,
and that's my
grandpa's parents.
My grandpa was born
in Seguin, Texas,
and my grandma,
these are her parents.
They are Mexico descendants.
This is Daddy here.
They used to pick
fields to make money,
and that's actually where my mom
and dad met is on the fields.
That's when they got married.
They were teenagers at the time,
very young.
Just babies.
They didn't know
what they were doing,
but they sure did
do something right.
It's very important to know
where you came from.
This is my little Cuevas museum.
Our museum of love,
a museum of life.
(dog barking)
Come back!
-(door creaks)
-Alicia: Hey, guys. We're
gonna pray so we can eat.
(indistinct chatter)
Come on, Daddy.
Stand over here.
Wait, where's my bear?
-Okay, is that everybody?
Father God, we give you thanks
for the blessings of tonight.
We ask you to bless
us within our week,
especially this coming Sunday
for my daddy
as we celebrate his life.
We ask you to bless this
food we're about to eat
and the hands that prepared it,
and all those that are in need.
In your grateful name we pray.
(indistinct chatter)
Kissy to abuelo.
Did you give
kissy to abuela ?
Kissy to abuela.
Pretty baby.
Who's ready for bingo?
Let's get it going. Let's
get some money on the table.
The living wake's gonna
be a wonderful day...
'cause I'll see
everybody around me.
And I love it when all
my family is around me.
Especially I got some
grandkids and great-grandkids.
They're the most important
little things in my life.
I'm gonna feel great.
I'm gonna feel the luckiest
person in the world.
-Woman: Oh, she got it.
-Say it again, baby.
-Say it loud. Bingo!
what I needed.
Daniel: Phew!
That's what you want.
See how juicy it is?
That's the Cuevas
chicken right there.
(indistinct chattering)
Yeah, right there. Right there.
Yeah, right here.
(mariachi band playing)
(music continuing)
(speaking indistinctly)
S, seor!
I wanna thank everybody
for showing up.
let you know how much
I appreciate all of you all,
especially my brothers,
my sister,
and my wife and my kids.
And I'm proud of them, too.
I wanna thank all of you.
Thank you everyone
for coming today
to my daddy's living wake.
My daddy's come a long way,
and, Daddy,
we're proud of you.
We love you for who you are.
We're grateful for everything
you've given us, Dad...
and I'm especially grateful
for the woman you
raised me to be.
And I know my
brothers are grateful
for the men that you raised.
We love you very much.
I love you, too.
(indistinct chattering)
Guadalupe Jr.:
He knows that we love him.
I tell him every day
I can because one day,
I'm not gonna be able
to tell him to his face.
That's what the wake
is about. It's about...
making sure the guy that's
leaving knows he's loved.
(shutter clicks)
(birds twittering)
Barbara Jean:
I process death by just...
facing it. It's like,
this is what's happening.
This is what's
been given to me.
Death is part of life.
When they told me that
I had pancreatic cancer,
my doctor, he just took
one look at me and said,
"This is not good and you need
to get your affairs in order."
For most of my life, I thought
that I would be cremated,
but I chose a green
burial because...
being able to give
back to the Earth
just really resonated with me.
You'll get to see Eloise Woods.
It's peak flowering season.
Yeah, that's right.
Yeah, I'm excited.
-I'm really excited
to go out here.
But it's funny.
You know, people will ask
why are you taking off
work, and, you know,
"Oh, I'm going with my friend
to pick out her burial plot."
(laughing): And like the...
Barbara Jean:
It stops the conversation.
-TJ: It really does.
-Yeah, that's right.
-TJ: Here it is!
-Back to nature!
Back to nature, yes.
All right.
I got you.
-Good twist.
-Oh! I'm TJ.
So, instead
of TJ and BJ,
you're gonna be Barbara 'cause
I will never get these right.
Barbara, that's fine.
First, there's something
I wanted you to take
BJ to see, but I don't
want her to know
the name of it
until we get there.
-So, you're gonna
whisper this...
-Yes, or I can point it.
Or you can point. Oh yeah,
a lot of people like that name.
Well, and I will
let her explain
-the significance
when we get there.
-Ellen: Significance!
So, you can show her anything,
except just cover that up.
-It'll be a surprise.
-Ellen: Okay.
(birds twittering)
Now see,
here's a burial plot
that's fairly new.
She was just
in a shroud,
and so there's
not too much soil.
But in a natural
burial park,
we dig relatively shallowly
because it's in the first
feet of topsoil that are all
the elements that would help
a body go back to nature
-as quickly as possible.
-Barbara Jean: I think
this is so neat.
-TJ: Yeah.
So, over here, this is
called Quiet Time Garden.
It's where my plots are
and that's my mother.
She was just
buried in August.
-Aw, wow.
-And my plots are gonna
be around the corner
where there's more of
those yellow flowers,
and I have, like, six
cats that are over there...
-...waiting for me.
-You can even have
a tree right here.
-If you wanna be around...
-...a lot of my crazy family
members and cats.
-Barbara Jean: That
sounds pretty good.
-TJ: Yeah.
So, this is
the division, and...
so you can see how there's
-a whole big area right there...
-...and you can see there's
gonna be a lot of sun.
This is called
Moon Dancer Garden.
Oh my God!
You gonna explain
the significance
of what that
means to you?
The email that I've
had for, what, 40 years
-is Moon Dancer.
-Oh, really?
A lot of people love the name
and they go, I wanna be buried--
I wanna be buried
in Moon Dancer! I do, too.
Okay, so let's talk about what's
available here then because--
Almost anything
you see.
If you want, I can go
out and put up one
of my orange flags.
It could be as close
to the trail as you want,
or you can come all
the way back here.
I'll just put this
kind of in the middle.
Barbara Jean:
That looks good.
All right.
So, but now, if you
like Moon Dancer,
you can picture
yourself in that spot
and you know where
you're gonna be.
Some people come and they'll lay
down on the ground and look up
and go, okay, so this is
what I'm gonna be looking at.
I wouldn't suggest it though
'cause you'll get chiggers.
-Yeah! Chiggers I don't need
with all my other problems.
No, but you can
imagine it now.
Barbara Jean:
Yeah, I can.
All right. Off we go.
(birds singing)
Barbara Jean:
The day of my death,
how I envision it,
all I wanna do is pass
with grace and dignity.
TJ and her mother, Janie,
have agreed to come
and wash my body.
The fact that they're
doing that, I mean, it...
It's very humbling, really.
(laughs) You know?
That's a big ask.
I think that's a big
ask of people, you know?
It's just, it's love,
really. It's just...
the overwhelming...
feeling of love and support
so unconditional,
...that's it. (chuckles)
-TJ: Thank you, guys.
-Others (murmuring):
Thank you.
(birds twittering)
Now, let's make
a circle around Barbara.
Good morning, friends.
I wanna welcome you here today
as we remember
the love and the light
that Barbara reflected
into our world.
She was adamant that
she wanted her life
to go into the life
of something else.
So, we'll be
planting a tree.
She wanted it
planted with her
'cause she wanted to begin
nurturing the tree right away.
Okay, so I think we need some
strong people in the middle.
Yeah, watch the ropes.
Okay, now slowly
on my count.
One, two,
Right there.
Thank you.
-Announcer: ...six, five, four,
-Crowd: ...six, five, four,
-three, two, one...
-three, two, one...
-Announcer: Fire.
-Crowd: Blastoff!
(crowd cheering)
I am here for my daddy, Adam.
He used to tell my mom to shoot
him into space when he dies.
Woman 1:
I found this after he passed,
as I was searching for what
I could do to honor him.
Woman 2:
We're sending her on
her final adventure,
and we know that she's here
with us and that
she is so excited.
This is symbolically his
flight to the great beyond.
He loved space so much--
when he was a kid
to as an adult.
My father was not ready to die.
He did not have plans to die.
He did not have a will.
But the only thing
we really knew for sure
that he wanted was
a memorial spaceflight.
My father, Tuna, was...
a really incredible guy.
He had a variety of interests
throughout his life.
He was fascinated by
space and time travel,
and the possibilities for that.
But he was pretty confident
that in his lifetime,
he would never get to space.
And sending some of
his material to space,
he didn't think about it like
"my spirit is going to space."
-(rocket roaring)
-He thought about it like,
we're just sending a little
bit of humanity up there
to see what happens,
and into the unknown.
And he definitely wanted
to be a part of that.
-You made it!
-We made it.
-How are you?
-Good. You ready for
this destination funeral?
I love that.
Charles Chafer:
This is the mission control.
This is a mostly
NASA funded mission,
and we are always, what's
called, a secondary payload.
And basically, almost
all rockets over-perform.
They have more ability
to lift than they sell.
So, we just tuck
ourselves in and...
hitch a ride, and that's
really been the thing
that allows Celestis to exist.
Okay, welcome in, guys!
Next to Jerry is
actually our firing box.
You can see one
red case that's
toggled up. That is the button
that will be pushed
to fire the rocket.
-Woman: Wow.
And who are
you here for?
-My son.
-Your son. Nice.
His favorite phrase was,
"Let me off this planet!"
-So, we've managed that.
-Yeah, we have.
-I had a feeling we might
be a group of
-Yeah, yeah.
-I think you're right on that.
-Right on the money.
-Sara: I think we are.
(indistinct chattering)
Welcome, everybody,
to launchpad one.
Your payloads are in that blue
nose tip in the very front.
If you look up there,
just above the American flag,
that's where they are.
The first time
we did this years ago,
I had never done
something like that,
and Charlie had approached us,
and it's very touching.
You know, so we're all
thinking about you.
We will be tomorrow as well.
When my father died,
I was not ready
because I wanted my children
to get more from him.
He was such
an incredible human being,
and I think this is
a unique opportunity
to say we saw a rocket launch,
and part of our grandfather
was on that rocket.
-Sara: Guys.
-Lisa: Okay, guys, come here.
This remind
you of Tuna?
Isn't this awesome?
So, when your
Grandpa Tuna died,
I brought it to the memorial
and I had
tons of people sign it.
And so, it's filled
with things of people
remembering Tuna.
And so, I wanna give this
to you guys so you'll have it
so you can learn more
about your Grandpa Tuna.
So, here you go.
Thank you so much.
(kids chattering)
I know.
I know it is.
-Announcer: 45 seconds.
-Woman: 45 seconds.
(excited chattering)
Stand by for T-minus
30 seconds on my mark.
30 seconds!
Three, two, one,
mark. T-minus 30
seconds and counting.
-The vehicle is armed.
All right, we're putting
the count at T-minus...
-10, nine, eight,
-All: 10, nine, eight,
-seven, six,
-seven, six,
-five, four, three,
-five, four, three,
-two, one...
-two, one...
-Announcer: Fire.
-Crowd: Blastoff!
Oh my God!
So long and thanks
for all the fish!
(applause, cheering)
-Oh my God, that was amazing!
-That was incredible!
That was so cool!
Wasn't that cool?
-That was incredible!
-That was so cool.
Hey, guys!
Grandpa Tuna's an astronaut!
(indistinct chattering)
(Announcer speaking)
-Boy: It's now in space?
-The vehicle is now in space.
It is successful.
It is, it was a successful
rocket launch.
Dick Shannon:
My observation
about the way people die,
at least in America, is...
they either don't--
are not allowed the opportunity
to be part of the process.
From my way of thinking,
the part that bothers
me just immensely
is not being allowed
to be part of that process.
It's my death.
Go with what you believe,
but don't tell me
what I have to do.
I know that you
saw Dr. Ganguli
down at Stanford
again in November,
and that was after the last
CT scan of the lungs.
-So, what's your understanding
of that CT scan?
My lungs are full
-of little nodules.
-And it's--
-Commonly called metastasized.
Metastasis, and it's...
they're growing.
-You know...
-It's obvious to me...
...that we have just
a limited amount of time.
-How much time that is,
I don't know.
-But we're gonna go down
the path until we have none.
-Deleaua: We have the end
of life medication.
-Doctor: Yeah.
It's at home in a box up
in the top of the closet.
If it's okay,
I'd like to just review...
-Deleaua: I think
that'd be great.
-...what we need to do
with taking
the medication. So,
-it can't be taken
in a public location.
If you needed help with
preparing the medication,
that would
be fine.
But actually drinking,
or taking the medication,
that's something that
you'd need to do yourself.
There's a lot
of narcotic in it,
so you slip into a coma
within a few minutes,
and then, typically,
people have passed within
half an hour.
It's hard to fathom...
-I go to sleep,
and that's the end of it.
-Doctor: Right.
-Okay. I'll never know
anything different.
You can talk about
losing your husband.
You can talk about
going through this, but...
-Doctor: Living-- still is,
it's a really
difficult process,
but it still feels like
the right decision.
So, the scapula's
been removed.
This is where the scapula's
ending, and then,
-like, this shouldn't be here.
-Dick: Ow.
-This lump. Is it tender
when I'm pushing on it?
All righty.
-Thank you, Doc.
-You're very welcome.
-It has been a pleasure.
It has been a pleasure.
All right.
-Bye. Thank you.
Okay, you all set?
This is our little box of
end-of-life medications.
We've been keeping this up in
our closet for safety purposes.
So, here's the recipe,
what we should mix,
how it's to be taken.
And this is
the morphine combination.
When I get to the point
where I'm...
either bedridden,
I'll be able to use
this set of medicines
to end my life in
a way that I choose.
That'll happen, um...
-when it happens.
Some time in the future.
We're hoping for...
a long way off,
but we'll see.
-That's it. Okay.
-We'll know where they're at.
-All right. Yeah.
(bottles clinking)
-Okay, give me... Yeah.
-You got it?
When I think about my death...
it's bothersome to me
not knowing...
what it's going to be like.
Is there anything after that?
How can I miss my loved ones?
My dear wife, who has been
with me for 57 years.
If it's possible to miss her,
I will miss her
every single moment.
I've accepted the fact
that I'm dying.
There's nothing
I can do to stop it.
I can make it...
as productive as it can be.
And planning the final days
of my life
gives me a sense of
participation and satisfaction.
(dogs barking)
-Will: Okay, deal.
-(saw whirring)
We have done in this
shop, and together,
hundreds of projects.
And in the 30 years that
we've been doing them,
I have learned so
much from Dick on...
layout, thinking, engineering...
just everything. And...
and yet, this is
the one project
I wish to hell we didn't
ever have to build.
(sighs) You're not gonna
lie down, are you?
You looked like you
were thinking about it.
-Deleaua: Whoa, wow.
-So, we're gonna have to...
-be very clever about this.
-Oh, because the nails--
My goodness,
that looks beautiful.
-Will: Good work, huh?
-Deleaua: Isn't that amazing?
My goodness.
I haven't seen that
many caskets in my life.
I've seen some metal ones
that I thought were kind of...
that I didn't like,
and I've seen
cardboard ones,
which were
rudimentary at best.
I think this is
very elegant-looking
in its simplicity,
and I like that very much.
(crying softly)
Now, if I could store it
for another six months.
-(Dick laughs)
-Will: Maybe a year,
that'd work.
I think what you were
trying to say, honey, is...
-rough-hewn, but elegant.
-Will: You should know that
-he rehearsed that
line a long time.
It matches me perfectly!
Oh boy.
-Let's get a top.
(indistinct chattering)
We're trying to set this
area up for about...
40 people.
And it's-- 40 people
starts filling this
up pretty fast.
We decorated
with a sign up on the wall.
It kind of sets the tone
for the event.
We're here to celebrate life.
All of it, but...
especially the end.
My end.
(lively chattering)
Hi, how you doing?
For anybody that's so inclined,
we have my coffin lid
in the multipurpose room,
and there are pens there.
Feel free to write upon it,
but try to keep it clean.
-Cheerful checking out.
-Cheerful checking out!
Here's to checking
out cheerfully. Okay.
I just want to say
this is the first
celebration of life
I've been to where I get
to say goodbye
to the celebrant.
Thank you for that opportunity.
It's easy to live well,
it's harder to die well,
-but you do it well.
-I'll work on it.
-You can do it the best.
All right. Well,
no time soon, I hope.
-I'm... I'm checking out
Tuesday morning.
-Tuesday morning.
It's... I wanna go out...
-While you still can. Yeah.
-...with a quality of life,
And I can feel it deteriorating.
I know it's happening.
I want it to be on my terms.
Tuesday morning is it.
(indistinct chattering)
Dick, I don't know what
to say, so you'll just--
I love you and I appreciate you
and this is a wonderful,
wonderful gathering.
It was, it was.
It was a lot of fun.
We enjoyed each other.
That's what it's all about.
Frankly, it's difficult for me
to watch the people
watching me.
You can see it in their eyes.
You can see it in their
discomfort as to what to say.
"Geez, you look
great, Dick!" I said,
"Hot dang,
I feel wonderful!"
And to some extent,
that's true.
And I do, apparently,
look pretty good.
But I ain't,
and I ain't ever gonna be.
In terms of terminating my life,
my mind has been satisfied
with that decision
since the very beginning.
And tomorrow will be
the culmination of that.
It'll just be a question
of saying goodbye.
Here's to a family gathering
like none other that'll ever be.
This is the last supper.
Are we supposed to pose?
-Dick: Pose?
-(laughing): Oh no!
-I think we should.
-We talked about it.
Are we-- Do we have 12,
-what are they called?
-Dick: Okay.
Did you want to hear
the rendition
of "Amazing Grace" that we have?
We're gonna set the speaker
on top of your coffin
-as we're carrying you.
-Oh, I didn't bring a speaker.
-We have a speaker.
-We have a speaker that I think,
no offense, but it has a little
better sound than yours does.
I think we should all just go
downstairs and listen to it.
I think it's pretty
impactful downstairs.
-She can do it.
Are we gonna go?
We're gonna go listen
to "Amazing Grace."
(bagpipes playing
"Amazing Grace")
Oh, goodness.
Have you got enough room?
Oh great. We're all sitting
here, full of tears.
-Will: Guys, Facebook
is gonna love this.
-Dick: You all right?
-Deleaua: Yeah, I'm all right.
-You gotta do this
without me tomorrow.
Yeah. Yeah.
We're thinking
Wednesday, Thursday.
-Wednesday, Thursday.
-Dick: Oh, Jesus.
-Deleaua: You did
ask to have this.
-Dick: I did.
I did. I wanted this.
-Deleaua: Yeah.
-It's really pretty.
-We don't have to go
through the whole thing.
I just wanted you guys...
-(woman speaks indistinctly)
-Yeah. Yeah.
I love you guys.
(music fades)
-Deleaua: That music was--
-It's beautiful!
-Deleaua: It is.
-It's absolutely gorgeous.
It is. (sighs)
Well, I'm glad you got a chance
to talk with the kids that way.
I think that they
appreciated it.
-Dick: It looked like
a good opportunity to say...
-It was perfect.
-...what I was trying to say.
-That worked out really well.
I think that to be
able to be genuine
in a really
genuine moment...
that counts
for a lot.
So, do you have
anything that
you wanna do tomorrow
morning at all?
Do you have anything
that you've left undone
that you
wanted to do?
-Dick: Not that I'm aware of.
(crickets chirping)
It is 9:56.
Do you wanna mix it?
You want Wade to mix it?
He's standing right there.
-You think he's competent?
-Deleaua: I think
he's competent.
-Dick: Anybody can mix it,
I have to consume it.
Okay. Without assistance.
So, you need to be
over on the couch.
-Yes, I do.
All right, folks.
All right.
I'm gonna say this real quick.
I just wanna thank
you for everything.
For the last 35 years
of teaching and...
and I want that to be
the last thing I say,
so I'm gonna walk
over here, but...
-And good luck.
-Dick: Likewise.
I love you all.
-Deleaua: It's all right.
-Thanks a lot, Will!
-Deleaua: Right.
-Deleaua: Was it grim?
-Not bitter?
-It wasn't bad.
-Dick: You'll do fine.
-I will do fine.
-Make sure you do.
-I will.
I will do fine.
It feels too
early to lay down.
Don't lay down.
You can still sit here
and tell jokes.
-What if I fall down?
-Oh, not a problem.
-I'm the therapist. I know
how to get you into bed.
-(Dick laughs)
Oh goodness.
You all have been so good
through this whole thing,
and I regret the pain
that it may cause you.
Just know that I love you,
each and every one
of you. (sniffles)
"Dearest Dick,
"you and Deleaua have been on
my mind and in my prayers daily.
"I'm gonna be looking to
the heavens as you take flight.
Give my dad a hug
if you run into him."
Next one is,
"I love you very, very much.
"I have learned
so much from you,
"and consider your
friendship a wonderful gift.
I will miss your dry humor
and unselfish spirit."
So, this is just
part of the process.
Not to worry.
This is just breathing
at the end of life.
The body's just
working hard here.
(classical music playing)
Do you want time alone?
I'm fine.
He can't hear me. We've...
-talked and said everything
we wanted to say.
(music continuing)
(speaking softly)
So, I think that he's passed,
whatever that means.
I think that
he's gone.
(classical music continuing)
-(birds chirping)
(dog barking)
Well, Ryan and I have
always been very open
and honest with our kids
when they ask questions.
We try to give them
the truth in a way that
a five-year-old can understand,
and we've never wanted to
lie or to sugarcoat anything.
This is Garrett being Garrett.
Wasn't eating his cookie.
He took my mashed potatoes
instead of a cookie.
-(indistinct audio)
-Emilie: Jump and roll.
But even on chemo,
he had all that energy.
He had been taking chemo.
That was that nasty stuff.
He was still doing push-ups.
You know, I think
back about life
before Garrett got sick, and...
you know, we really felt
like we had everything.
We had a great house,
a great family.
We got to do all of the things
that we wanted to do.
Once Garrett got
diagnosed with cancer,
everything just changed.
This was his
Make-A-Wish trip and...
he had such a good time,
even though he wasn't
feeling the greatest,
and, ultimately, we ended up
having to get him a wheelchair
because he just couldn't walk.
But even so, he would be like,
"Mommy, take a picture of me,"
and "Mommy, look at me," and...
he was just so sweet.
It's beautiful, isn't it?
When it's dark outside,
they all glow.
That makes it very beautiful.
How about we just
light the candles
and leave the
luminaries in there
'cause you can't
really see them.
So, this was Delfina's idea.
We've been pulling some of
Garrett's favorite
things in here.
He loved Batman,
so we picked out
the Batman
figures. And...
he used to always
carry around
a koozie of Batman that
we have down on the bottom.
And this is
the blue bunny
that he used to
take all the time
at the hospital.
And then we have...
Thor. He loved
superheroes, so...
we have
Thor's hammer,
as well as some
other Batman stuff.
This is something
that reminds her
of Garrett and brings
her closer to Garrett,
and that helps.
When we got the news
that he was terminal,
we never actually told Garrett
that he was gonna pass away.
That he wasn't gonna live.
We just started
talking a lot about how
not everybody wins their
battle with cancer.
you know, we just
really started having
some of those conversations
that you never wish
that you had to have
with your children.
We tried to do it as
organically as we could.
You know, we'd pass a cemetery,
and Garrett would say,
"Why are funerals sad?
You know... funerals
shouldn't be sad." Or,
"Why do you go to
funerals if they're sad?"
And that's when we started
talking and he'd say things.
"Well, at my funeral,
I want five bouncy houses
"because I'm five years old,
and I want snow cones,
and I want Batman to
come to my funeral."
And those types of things.
And so, it really spawned for us
our want to help Garrett
have his wishes come true.
So, he couldn't be here with us,
but we could make
his funeral not sad.
(kids screaming)
(kids chattering)
At first,
I wanted a funeral.
But then I started thinking,
he didn't want that.
He wanted his bouncy houses.
He wanted his snow cones.
He wanted Batman. So,
we made sure of all that.
We wanted
to make sure people were happy
and having fun here. So, we
did exactly what he wanted.
It just felt right.
(kids chattering)
We had a celebration of life
that was non-traditional
and very... happy.
People weren't used
to that, right?
This is something different,
and they didn't
know what to expect.
Everybody got really
into the celebration
and it was fun. It was
very much like a carnival.
It was very healing to
see the beautiful things
and all of the kids
having a great time.
There were so many kids
here, and the laughter,
and they were running
around playing and...
you know, really celebrating
Garrett's life instead of...
-being sad because
he had passed away.
Death comes so quickly.
You don't think about it
until it's happening.
And then, you fall into
tradition and call
a funeral home,
and you kind of fall into
that routine because...
it's safe and it's the norm.
Through everything,
what I learned is
that we're the biggest
advocates for our family,
for ourselves, and it's
okay to be different.
It's okay to do whatever
makes you happy.
It's okay to do
something special
that's out of the ordinary,
to celebrate and to
honor somebody's life.
-(fireworks whistling)
And I think that we
can do the things that
are important to
us and still have
all of the support from the
family and from our community.
-(rocket roaring)
It's okay to talk about
-what you want
after you pass away.
It's okay to have
those conversations.
Death doesn't have to be scary.
Hold true to what you want,
and make it happen.
(birds chirping)