"Before I Die" chalkboard gathers community's hopes, dreams - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

"Before I Die" chalkboard gathers community's hopes, dreams

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- A celebration of life is coming from an unexpected place.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Homes in Wausau has completed its so-called "Before I Die" board.

They want it to become a space for people to write down their hopes and dreams, like a community bucket list.

The only people who have written on it so far are employees of the funeral home, but they say they eventually expect every piece of black space to be covered with dreams and aspirations.

When asked, people on the 400 Block Thursday said some of their bucket list items were going to college, visiting Disney World and skiing the Alps in Italy.

Peterson/Kraemer is taking the natural human desire to achieve and turning it into a source of inspiration.

"It's a way to publicly display your personal aspirations, reflections, with your community and your neighbors," said Peterson/Kraemer administrative assistant Anna Zoromski-Linde.

The idea for the wall came to central Wisconsin from a New Orleans artist.

"It's actually spread globally," Zoromski-Linde said. "Sixty-five countries all over the world have done this."

"I had my doubts right up until the time that I actually saw the wall and once you see it, it really makes you start thinking," said Peterson/Kraemer director Greg Zoromski.

The Zoromski's see the wall as a celebration of life.

"There is a great deal of sadness that goes along with death, but there would not be sadness if there weren't love at some point," Zoromski said.

"It shows that maybe life can be too short sometimes, death happens unexpectedly, and to get out and do those things you've always wanted to do," Zoromski-Linde said.

The wall will open to the public August 17th, and the funeral home has big plans for it.

It's on wheels, and the owners are already talking about bringing it to Chalkfest next summer on the 400 Block, along with their other locations around Marathon County.
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