See more photos for the Funeral for the Living in our slideshow.
The evening began with an introduction by Sloan, followed by several participants who read their own eulogies, which touched upon topics like other people, art and employment. A couple of moving personal acts evoked strong emotions from the audience.
A particularly evocative and poetic eulogy was read by a man whose parents had disowned him after he came out to them about his sexuality. His moving speech ended with him cutting his tie in half. Another participant played an R&B song on her iPod, drank a 16-ounce beverage, took a bite of a fast-food burger and a drag from a cigarette before pulling her pony tail to the top of her head and cutting it off to collective gasps and applause from the audience.
After the eulogies were read, Nick Cooper and a ragtag brass band led the audience to the rear of the building where a funeral pyre was aflame. Several people tossed personal mementos into the fire pit, while others made emotional public wishes and statements, casting their words and feelings into the flames.
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The evening ended with a potluck buffet and a sense of camaraderie and renewal after laying to rest the bad memories of years past.