Despite being surrounded by death in his line of work, the 25-year-old sees it as an opportunity to honor his sister and keep her memory alive.
The loss of a loved one brings with it unbearable grief, something that Casey Lawhon is, unfortunately, no stranger to. That's why when he heard about the accidental death of a 2-year-old boy Sawyer, he was immediately able to relate to his parents' pain. Casey felt a calling at that point and knew he had to do something to ease their grief.
The 25-year-old came up with an unusual yet special way to give the little boy a touching sendoff after learning about the toddler's love for Mickey Mouse. Having obtained permission from Sawyer's parents, Casey decorated the young boy's casket by wrapping an image of Mickey Mouse floating on a carpet in the clouds.
Casey Lawhon, 25, has found his mission in life by personalizing caskets for families to honor their loved ones lost. https://t.co/f1qImUaMj4— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) April 21, 2022
The picture also had beautiful messages, "Never forgotten Little Sawyer" and "I love you Momma and Dad’ee." On taking a look inside, one could see Mickey Mouse flying towards a cartoon version of Sawyer in heaven. "I think it symbolized peace in a tragic event. "I believe Sawyer is at rest and at peace," Casey told FOX Television Stations.
He then opened up about his latest venture called In Memory Casket Wraps which he launched in February 2022 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Through this, he decorates, wraps, and creates personalized caskets for families who have tragically lost their loved ones. But Casey has a soft spot for children who have died and to help cover the cost of their caskets, he urges the community to donate.
Even for Sawyer's casket, he managed to raise $700 in just eight minutes. For yet another, he raised $1,400 in 35 minutes. "Just losing a child is so unexpected," shared Casey, who used to own a vehicle-wrapping business in Mississippi for three years. It was the death of his 21-year-old sister Raelan in January 2022 that led the devastated brother to change course and come up with this unique way of honoring her memory.
Her casket was the first one he had customized by wrapping pink flowers with a grey background. "That was the first casket I ever done. I did it for her. I did not do this for anything else. Just for her," he shared. Following her funeral, the funeral homeowners asked if he would like to start his own casket-wrapping business but Casey was very reluctant about it initially as he feared people would think he was doing it for money.
However, when a family who had just lost their 18-month-old boy reached out for a casket wrap, Casey found a reason to launch his mission. "I didn’t realize how much it meant to them," he shared, noting that he has already wrapped caskets for eight children since starting last month. Being around death can take quite a "toll" but he won't be stopping anytime soon because "if I stop what I’m doing, it would just eat me up."
Casey said that by doing this he continues to honor his sister. "I do this for total peace of mind. It brings peace to families. It brings peace to everybody there, knowing that they sent their loved one out the best way they could," he noted.
Cover image source: Facebook | Casey Dylan Lawhon