Monday, February 11, 2008

A New Wave In Funerals

When the weather's right, could there be any better, or more Australian, way than this to end a funeral?

Just a few hours earlier, Williams was among (Heath) Ledger's closest family and friends who romped in the waves at Cottesloe Beach, still wearing their funeral clothes, in a joyous celebration of his life as the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

The group laughed and whooped in the water as the hot summer's day came to an end.

Heath Ledger's father Kim shouted, "Hip hip hooray," from the balcony of the Indiana Teahouse, a beachfront restaurant hired for the wake. It was a fitting send-off for the surf-loving actor, who died almost three weeks ago in his New York apartment of an accidental drug overdose.

"It's what Heath would have wanted," one mourner said as he emerged dripping wet from the water.

The impromptu dip summed up the joyous atmosphere at the wake, where several hundred mourners talked, laughed and toasted Ledger into the night on the restaurant's verandas overlooking the sea.