Heren Arnold cries over desire to bury his wife as she pleased
A family is divided as a Chicago woman
lay dead and her loved ones are in conflict over her funeral
27-year-old Vanessa Johnson died in a
two-car accident on April 12th, and since then her husband
Heren Arnold has been in a dispute with her family over final
Johnson’s family wants to cremate her
and have a traditional funeral, whereas Arnold insists the well-known Instagram user wanted to
have a “thematic wake” in which she would be erected in a corner
of a room in an Instagram “mirror pose.” Arnold’s suggestion is
possible with “extreme embalming,” a fringe aspect of the funeral
The process takes significantly more
labor (and money) to pull off, but is undoubtedly a memorable
experience. Extreme embalming is prevalent in Puerto Rico and the
southern United States.
Johnson reportedly wanted to be embalmed in pose similar to this
Arnold has power-of-attorney over
Johnson’s body, but Beverly Johnson, Vanessa’s mother, is petitioning
the state of Illinois for control. They are said to be disgusted with
Arnold’s idea for the wake, as well as his suggestion to put
Johnson’s social media follower count on her Tombstone.
“10,000 followers should be
remembered,” Arnold surmised via e-mail. Arnold’s own Instagram
account was deactivated after he posted a graphic photo of Johnson
shortly after her death.
“Vanessa was well-known on Twitter
and the ‘gram. I think it was important to her to share every moment
with her followers, including her last,” Arnold said.
Johnson’s mother contends that she knew
of her daughters wishes, but wants a funeral more traditional and
Johnson’s body is currently lying in
the morgue, but the longer it takes for a decision to be made, the
harder it will be to manipulate her stiffening body into her favorite pose, Arnold has admitted having Johnson’s corpse posing
in a bikini—his original idea–would be “a bad look at this
Scoffing at the Johnson family’s
“boring” tombstone suggestion, Arnold retorts, “Who really
wants to be remembered as a ‘loving daughter or wife?’ That’s some s**t
you say when you have nothing better to say. It’s a lot of ‘good daughters’ who gonna die
with dry IGs.”
An Illinois circuit judge is slated to
make a decision on the Johnson family’s petition later this week.
Until then, Arnold has started a GoFundMe to collect finances for the
thematic wake and engraving an iPhone-themed tombstone.