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Heartbreakingly Beautiful: When This Book Lover Died, His Amazing Friends Buried Him In James Joyce’s Grave

You’re going to want to break out the tissues for this, because it’s going to hit you right in the feels.

Last month, tragedy hit a small town in northern New Jersey when 20-year-old Kellen Walker died in a car accident. The only thing Kellen loved more than spending time with his loved ones was reading any book he could get his hands on, so his friends decided to honor Kellen’s memory in a truly amazing and fitting way: They buried him in James Joyce’s grave.

Absolutely. Beautiful.

“He was the most voracious reader any of us knew,” said Kellen’s closest friend and chief organizer of the burial, Thomas McCarthy. “His apartment was completely full of books: on bookshelves, on his nightstand, even on the floor. He pretty much spent any free moment he had reading. We just couldn’t think of a better way to honor his memory than to bury him alongside one of the greatest and most groundbreaking authors the Western world has ever known.”


Following a memorial in his hometown of Flemington, Kellen’s parents said one last goodbye to their son, and then the group of seven friends took his body and set off for Zurich. Once in Zurich, they went straight to Fluntern Cemetery, where Joyce, the avant-garde Irish author of such classics as A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man and Ulysses, is buried. As soon as night fell, the incredible group dug up Joyce’s grave, placed Kellen alongside the literary genius, paid their final respects, and then filled the grave back up.

Could anyone ask for better friends?

They even duct-taped a piece of paper onto Joyce’s grave that reads “And Kellen Walker. 1996-2016. Son. Brother. Friend. Book Lover. R.I.P.” Sorry if you are reading this in public, because there’s just no way you’re not bawling your eyes out right now. This is what friendship is all about.

What an incredible way to honor Kellen’s memory!