In celebration of Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Homes and Crematory’s centennial, the locally owned funeral home launched a project that has become part of a global phenomenon. Titled “Before I Die. . .”, it is a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space.
Created by artist Candy Chang on an abandoned house in New Orleans, the Before I Die project consists of a wall painted with chalkboard paint, with fill-in-the-blanks stenciled on it. Participants are to leave their personal aspirations on the wall for others to see and reflect upon. Since Chang started the project in New Orleans, over 500 walls in 70 countries have sprung up, some lasting for weeks, and some much longer.
From the Wausau Daily Herald:
Mary Miller, Peterson/Kraemer pre-planning specialist, said she learned of the project about a year ago and thought it would be a good fit for the funeral home and a good tie-in for the organization’s 100th anniversary.
“In the funeral business, our job traditionally is seen as helping people deal with death after it’s happened,” Miller said. “That is what we’re here for. But if there are opportunities like this that we can help people think ahead and prepare so that when a death does happen, maybe there aren’t so many regrets.”
Wausau’s wall is built on a 12×8 foot trailer so that it can tour the five Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Homes and other area community events. Members of the community are invited to view the wall and leave their own personal aspirations.
Currently the wall is at the Peterson Kraemer Funeral Home on North 6th Street in Wausau. On Friday August 22nd, 2014 it will travel to Peterson/Kraemer’s West Stewart Avenue location. You can follow the wall’s whereabouts on the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home and Crematory’s Facebook Page.