How to Host a Viking Funeral
The Case for Burning Your Regrets, Chasing Your Crazy Ideas, and Becoming the Person You're Meant to Be
by Kyle Scheele
Pub Date 08 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 05 Apr 2022
An inspiring speaker and artist asked 20,000 people around the world to share the regrets they wanted him to burn in a mock Viking ship.
This is the story of what he learned about letting go of the pain of the past and embracing the future with hope.
Turning 30, artist and speaker Kyle Scheele wanted to do something unusual to mark this milestone. Instead of a birthday bash, he decided to hold a funeral to memorialize the decade of his life that was ending. Building a 16-foot Viking ship out of cardboard, he invited friends to help him set it on fire—a symbolic farewell to his 20s and all the grief, regret, and mistakes that accompanied those years.
When video of his Viking funeral went viral, it encouraged many others to let go of past hurts as well. Moved by the response he received, Kyle planned a second funeral (this time with a 30-foot cardboard Viking ship) and asked people to share the things they carried—the bad choices, disappointments, heartaches, and negative thinking that they wanted to lay to rest. He received more than 20,000 responses from around the world—stories both heartbreaking and hilarious, painful and inspiring.
In this entertaining and wise book, Kyle reflects on what he discovered about freeing ourselves from the pain of the past, interweaving anecdotes from those who participated with the story of his own journey of renewal. “This story involves multiple Viking funerals, thousands of square feet of cardboard, and enough hot glue to supply your mother-in-law's craft night for the rest of time,” he writes. “But it also involves regret, self-doubt, insecurity, and ultimately, redemption. So buckle up. It's about to get bumpy.”
How to Host a Viking Funeral is the story of letting go of the people we used to be, but no longer want to be. It’s about renewal; where there was once regret there is now blank space—an opportunity for a fresh start.