Joni Bakaradze died when he was just 22 years old. His mother, Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia, was devastated, like any mother would be to lose a child. Her grief was overwhelming and manifested in a unique way. Plus, Joni had left behind a young son and a heartbroken extended family. Kvaratskhelia knew she must do something extraordinary to honor her son's memory ... no matter how, uh, unique.
For the better part of two decades, Tsiuri has found a one-of-a-kind way to remember her son daily. Her tactic is rare and certainly not for everyone. But in taking drastic action, she was able to sustain what she thought was a fitting -- if uncommon -- memorial for her son. What did she do to honor her dead son's memory that was so rare and outlandish? She mummified him.
That's right. Joni's mother decided to preserve, or mummify, her son's remains. Then she placed them in a viewing chamber for family members and those who loved Joni. Because there is no way that could be scary or unsettling at all. Nope. While this approach is certainly not typical, mummification has ancient roots and was first performed as a means of honoring the dead.
Kvaratskhelia kept Joni's body intact by using what she calls "traditional methods," including the application of balsam sap. However, lately she's taken a less traditional route and wrapped her son's remains in bandages soaked in vodka.
Kvaratskhelia's decision to honor her son's memory this way is not something you see every day ... or likely ever! But keeping her son a physical presence in her home is a powerful testimony to a mother's love for her child, one that doubtlessly impacted Joni's son immensely.
Do you think Kvaratskhelia made the right choice to mummify her son's remains?