“We look at it as a celebration of the lives of those individuals and the gift that they have given to us”
More than three dozen students, donors’ relatives and campus staff members crowded the anatomy lab during Friday’s memorial, surrounding the tables and standing solemnly along the room’s perimeter. Some dabbed their eyes as prayers and remembrances were said, but faces were mostly stoic and there was no sobbing. The lab’s usual odor of formaldehyde was strangely absent, masked perhaps by the sweet aroma of bouquets decorating the cadaver tables.
Some donors’ relatives wore formal funeral attire. Terry, noting her plain pink T-shirt, said her sister wasn’t a fancy person, either. Terry closed her eyes and struggled not to cry during the service, saying beforehand that Clemens “would be upset if I did.”
Abdullah Malik, a medical student who worked on Judy Clemens, thanked her in a letter he read aloud during the ceremony.
“To have the courage and fortitude to endure as much as she did is a testament to her strength and an inspiration to us all,” he read, standing next to Clemens’ sister beside the dissection table holding Clemens’ remains.