Surfer Funeral in Laguna Beach

Photo of Laguna Beach paddle out taken by author, Deborah Dian
Laguna Woods, California
June 18, 2016 10:08pm CST
Whenever a surfer dies in California, their surfer pals do a "paddle out." They take their surfboards out on the ocean, gather together and ... so I've been told ... share memories of the surfer who died. Last year, I witnessed a surfer's funeral. There were people on-shore who were also attending a memorial for the man who died. He was apparently a former marine and they even had a large photo of him on the boardwalk. However, it was the group who participated in the "paddle out" that interested me the most. In the photo above, you can see them out on the water on the horizon. Have you ever participated in an unusual type of memorial service for someone?
25 people like this
15 responses
• United States
19 Jun 16
No, I have not. But I don't think this is unusual. It reminds me of what island people have always done in the past.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
Yes, I do think that island people have always done something similar ... especially after the deaths of fishermen or others who spent most of their lives on the sea.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane It is probably also a tradition of coastal people on the mainland.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace - Yes, families tend to maintain these types of traditions. They give them a sense of continuity.
1 person likes this
@just4him (120147)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
19 Jun 16
No I never have. I've heard of that, maybe in a movie, not sure. It's a good picture.
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@just4him (120147)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
20 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane That must have been truly special. It looks like it in the photo.
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
19 Jun 16
No I haven't participated in any type of unusual memborial service. That is interesting how the friends gather and then go out on their boards and share memories of their friend. RIP
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
Yes, I think these paddleouts are beautiful ways to remembers a surfer who has passed away.
@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
20 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane It certainly is a beautiful way to remember a surfer who has passed. I hadn't hear of this before but it is really a good thing to do.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
21 Jun 16
@Marcyaz - I loved hearing about the different ways that people have remembered their loved ones who have passed away.
@MarymargII (10022)
• Toronto, Ontario
20 Jun 16
No not really but I like hearing about these things- how very touching. You have made Laguna Beach an interesting area for me- gorgeous beach!
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
21 Jun 16
I'm glad I have been able to make Laguna Beach seem as interesting as it actually is!
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@MarymargII (10022)
• Toronto, Ontario
21 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane It's on the map for me now and maybe others- I even like the sound of the name.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
23 Jun 16
@MarymargII - Yes, Laguna Beach's name has a nice, peaceful ring to it, doesn't it? In the winter, it really is a sleepy little town ... even though the weather is almost as nice in the winter as it is in the summer.
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@JustBhem (39236)
• Davao, Philippines
19 Jun 16
How I like to see them like that.
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@JustBhem (39236)
• Davao, Philippines
20 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane Yes. Insaw a movie who are doing that. They gathered in circles and they spread flowers between them.
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• Laguna Woods, California
21 Jun 16
@JustBhem - Ahh! I love the idea of spreading flowers, too!
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@JustBhem (39236)
• Davao, Philippines
21 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane Yes. Then they'll wash by the waves to the depths of the sea.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jun 16
what a sweet way to honor the passin' 'f someone who shared their passion. the oddest i've been to 'twas my dad's i reckon? prior to the memorial service'n with drizzlin' rain his ashes were partly scattered 'cross his garden, his favorite fishin' hole'n a place he loved to hunt deer. jest immediate family 'twas there.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
I love the idea of spreading ashes around the places that your Dad loved. I think that is a meaningful way to remember someone's life.
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• United States
20 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane thanks, hon. 'twas his wish. the fascinatin' thingy 'twas that 't his deer huntin' patch, a fawn layed, the doe not far off. nearly magical's they watched'n silence, with a misty rain comin' down...
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
21 Jun 16
@crazyhorseladycx - I love to see deer in nature. I'm sure it was a magical moment.
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@toniganzon (51610)
• Philippines
19 Jun 16
That's a really unique way of giving honor to a surfer.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
Yes, I think this is a thoughtful and unique way for surfers to honor a friend they have lost.
@toniganzon (51610)
• Philippines
20 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane yeah I think we have something like that here.
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (15842)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
20 Jun 16
I attended a Chinese memorial service before. What piqued my interest was the crying ladies the family hired to do all the crying and wailing.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
I have heard of cultures where families hire people to cry. I think it helps those who have trouble showing their emotions. I can understand that tradition.
@paigea (22410)
• Canada
20 Jun 16
That sounds like a very fitting memorial for a surfer friend. I went to a memorial this past weekend. It was in a park that our friend had enjoyed with his family. We had a barbecue, a formal eulogy from his family and a slide show of his life. The rest of the time was an informal sharing of memories and enjoyng the park and the barbecue. Instead of taking home a little memorial card we took home a packet of wild bird seed with a happy photo of our friend attached. We could chosen dog treats instead. These represented some of his interests.
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (33754)
• Philippines
19 Jun 16
That is nee to me. Here, haven't witness one..yet ;)
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (55653)
• Philippines
19 Jun 16
when an episode of Hawaii 5-0 was shown, at the credits, there was a note of "in loving memory OF..." i and my son searched on web who this man was, and he was a surfer/
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
I love to watch Hawaii 5-0. I didn't notice that credit. I wish I had because I would have looked the person up, too.
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
19 Jun 16
That is really cool that they do that. I've never surfed, haven't been to a beach since I was a kid, but I do appreciate the culture.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
Since you live in Colorado, I am sure there are traditions there that I have never had the pleasure to enjoy.
1 person likes this
19 Jun 16
That's a sweet way of memorial. It shows how much love and respect they have for each other. I've never been to any such memorial.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
20 Jun 16
I agree that this type of memorial shows how much love and respect they have for each other.
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• Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
29 Jun 16
Thats actually nice and I have seen this before but in a movie, great pic!
• Eugene, Oregon
28 Jun 16
What a wonderful way to be remembered! Very interesting too.