Mason Lavers, left, and Matt Trimble stand in front of a casket, made from a large pine tree, that served as the final resting place of Cyrus Lavers, Mason’s 25-year-old brother who died Sept. 27 due to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Lavers, Trimble and more than 50 family members and friends contributed to the project. Emily Rendell/Emily Rendell Photography

LISBON – In the days following the death of 25-year old Cyrus Lavers, his stepmother, Linda Smith, said his family and friends were looking for the right way to pay tribute to “Uncle Cy.”

Lavers, born and raised on Ridge Road, or “The Ridge,” as his family calls it, died Sept. 27 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.

Police said Lavers was driving south on Ridge Road when he went off the right shoulder near the intersection of Webster Road and crashed his 2016 Harley-Davidson into a ditch.

Mason Lavers, Cyrus’ brother, said he found some pictures online of a casket carved out of a large tree.

He brought the pictures to Matt Trimble, a cousin of the Lavers family and owner of a construction company, and asked if he could make something similar.

“I told him, ‘I think we can do even better,’” Trimble said.

Over the course of three days, Trimble and Mason Lavars, with the assistance of more than 40 family members and friends of Cyrus, constructed a casket out of a large pine tree found on the property of Joel Dunham, the owner of Dunham Tree Service in Lisbon Falls.

Shawn Ashley sits with friends remembering Cyrus Lavers, known as “Uncle Cy,” at a recent gathering. Friends of Lavers made hats commemorating him. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Smith called the process “healthy grieving.”

“I feel like funerals are sanitized grieving,” Smith said. “This felt a lot healthier.”

Cassidy Therrien, Cyrus’ sister, agreed.

“This was a project we all could physically put our grief into,” Therrien said. “I just wish Cyrus could’ve been here to help us with it. It’s something that he would’ve loved.”

‘Huckleberry Finn’

Cyrus Lavers, born in 1994, was described as “Huckleberry Finn” by his father, Wayne Lavers.

“He was a free, good spirit who was home-schooled and raised in the church,” Wayne said.

Wayne said his son had a “need for speed,” while Linda Smith said he “should’ve born with wheels for his feet.”

Since Cyrus was 5 years old, Wayne said, he was motoring around on dirt bikes, tractors and other four-wheeled vehicles.

“He liked the woods, liked to hunt and liked to do crazy things,” Wayne said. “He also loved arts and and crafts and tinkering with things.”

Therrien added that Cyrus “had such a big heart,” and while he “didn’t have much, he would give you everything he had.”

“Ain’t nobody loved as big as Cyrus,” said Shawn Ashley, one of Cyrus’ friends.

Mason Lavers said the pine tree casket was born out of a need to pay homage to his brother’s love for motorcycles and special projects.

“We wanted to build something special for Cyrus,” Mason said. “I found a picture and sent it to Matt (Trimble), and he found some pictures of caskets and sent them to me.”

Trimble said while he had never built a casket out of a pine log before, it was a matter of trial and error.

“There were more than 50 people who had their hands on the casket and who helped to make it,” Trimble said. “Each person would come in with a different idea on how to make it better. It was a group effort.”

However, Therrien said that if it weren’t for Trimble’s efforts, her brother’s casket “wouldn’t have come out nearly as good as it did.”

Mason Lavers said that everybody had something to contribute to the project. Several people helped carve the words “Uncle Cy” into the inside of the casket, including Cyrus’ young nephew Jack Therrien, while Trimble helped carve the words “Ridge Boyz” into the top of the casket by Trimble, a phrase referring to how Cyrus and his family grew up on Ridge Road.

Erich Rendell, left, Cassidy Therrien, Mason Lavers and Nick Osmond work on a homemade casket for Cyrus Lavers, a 25-year-old Lisbon Falls resident who died Sept. 27 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Mason Lavers, Cyrus’ older brother, said more than 50 family members and friends contributed to the project. Emily Rendell/Emily Rendell Photography

Wayne Lavers said the Harley-Davidson blanket placed inside the casket was purchased by Cyrus’ good friend Hayden Stewart while Cyrus was in the hospital.

One family member mentioned that the hammer, staple gun and staples belonging to Cyrus’ late grandfather, Paul Mason Sr., was used to construct the casket.

Therrien said Trimble, Mason Lavers and others stayed up until 2 a.m or 3 a.m. for three consecutive days, getting the casket ready in time for Cyrus’ funeral Oct. 5.

“It was just a good way to keep our brains occupied throughout it all,” Mason said. “We did everything old school. We made the casket together and we dug the hole where Cyrus was buried too.”

Born on the Ridge

On Sunday afternoon, a little more than three weeks after his family buried Cyrus in the pine tree casket that they had made a month earlier, they gathered again inside Mason Lavers’ garage in Lisbon to share stories of Cyrus.

Sitting several feet away was Cyrus’ first motorcycle: a 1985 Yamaha Virago.

Mason said he and Erich Rendell, Cyrus’ neighbor, were planning to rebuild the motorcycle and ride it on the anniversary of Cyrus’ death.

Smith said that Cyrus was a natural-born storyteller.

As Cyrus’ family and friends shared their own stories Sunday about Cyrus, including how Cyrus earned the nickname “Cyrus ‘Nine-Toes’ Lavars,” or about the time he was attacked by a rabid fox in his driveway, Therrien said her brother “lived more life in his 25 years than most people do in 80 years.”

Wayne Lavars said the casket served as the perfect way to pay tribute to their “Uncle Cy.”

“He was born on the Ridge, he was raised on the Ridge, he died on the Ridge,” Wayne said, “Now, he’s buried at Ridge Cemetery.”

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