A paddle out in honor of Beth Chapman took place this afternoon in Hawaii. The moving tribute is just what Chapman wanted, according to TMZ. The outlet reported that before she died, Chapman discussed the type of memorial service that she wanted. Since Chapman was diagnosed with incurable cancer, she was sure to have these discussions — difficult as they may have been — with her family before her passing.
“As you may know, Beth had two homes – Hawaii and Colorado. In her own words, she said, ‘I love Hawaii the most,’ so we are sending her off in true Hawaiian style, with aloha,” read a statement shared with the public on Leland Chapman’s Facebook page. The message also noted that another public memorial will be planned for Colorado.
Those attending today’s memorial service were asked to bring “ocean-friendly loose flowers” to place in the water in honor of Beth.
The service was held at 2 p.m. local time at Fort DeRussy Beach in Waikiki.
Beth died on Wednesday, June 26, after a battle with throat cancer. On Sunday, June 23, news broke that Beth had been rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. According to TMZ, Beth was having trouble breathing as a result of her throat cancer. Due to this, she suffered what’s been called a “choking emergency” at her home in Hawaii. She was admitted to the ICU at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and placed in a medically induced coma.
Here’s what you need to know:
What Is a Paddle out?
A paddle out is a beautiful ritual that is held in honor of someone who has died. Traditionally, paddle outs honor the life of a fallen surfer but several coastal communities around the globe have embraced the ritual. Paddle outs have been adopted in places such as Hawaii, for example, where Beth Chapman called home.
People are invited to a beach to remember a lost loved one. At a given point during the gathering, some of those people will grab a surfboard (or something similar) and “paddle out” into the ocean. Once out enough, the people in the water will sometimes form a line or a circle and some will even hold hands. Often times, a wreath of flowers is placed into the water and set afloat.
You can watch a video of Beth Chapman’s paddle out below:
What Else Did Beth Chapman’s Family, Friends & Fans Do to Honor Her Today?
Beth Chapman’s memorial was set to include a Hawaiian chant known as an ‘Oli and a prayer.
“The beauty of the world of oli is that it is a very individualized effort. Each chanter has his or her own different voice quality and technique. Even the way a chant is chanted can differ depending on each individual’s past training and genealogy in chanting. It is said that chanting is a very ‘lonely’ art. It is usually done as a solo performance by a chanter without any kōkua (help) from others. As such, the performance of an oli may sometimes be done differently by the chanter at each occasion,” reads an excerpt about oli from the Learning Place.
Those who attended today’s memorial and paddle out were asked to use the hashtag #alohaoemrsdog (oe means “you” in Hawaiian) when sharing photos or videos of the event on social media.