After a pre-cursory search on “angel crowns”, I’m sad that nothing has hit yet. My memory is this: as someone lies in their warm and quilted bed, preparing for the journey up, out, and all around. Their head moves in sometimes tranquil and sometimes fitful movements, causing the feathers in their down pillow form a perfect, tiny, angel crown. After the soul has flown the family searches inside the pillow for the crown, pulls it out, and keeps it beside a photo or miniature of the deceased. Death was beautiful then, when it happened swiftly. No beeping monitors, just the heartbeat slowing, and warm hands pressed into cool ones.
Ah, but here they are:
Whether or not I will ever visit The Museum of Appalachia again is another refrain. We'll see. I want a feather pillow.