SWAMPSCOTT — “This is not goodbye, this is ‘see ya later.”
Those were the words echoed by the friends and loved ones mourning the tragic loss of Maximillian Carbone, whose body was found in Boston last Sunday, at his Celebration of Life on Saturday. People crowded the Swampscott High School auditorium, and spilled out into the hallway and cafeteria, to celebrate the “exemplary life” the 19-year-old had led.
“On behalf of my family, I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude for the people that rushed to our need,” said Julia Carbone, Max’s sister, as she welcomed the hundreds of people there to mourn. “Max, as long as we live, you too will live. You are forever a part of us. I love you.”
Carbone, a Nahant native, Swampscott alumnus, and Wentworth Institute of Technology sophomore, had an infectious smile that could make everyone in the room laugh, said his friends and family who spoke at the celebration. A few of his loved ones even noted that, if everyone in the world lived like Max did, the world would be a better place.
Between loved ones sharing their fondest memories of Max and slideshows of old photos and home videos, with some of his favorite music playing in the background, tears and bursts of laughter took over the packed auditorium. It was a range of emotions throughout the event.
Chaney Carbone, Max’s cousin, got up to speak and had the tearful crowd rolling with laughter by telling hilarious stories about Max. One in particular, was the story about “Binkie the Blanket,” which, tattered and “beat up,” Max still kept under his pillow up until college.
While Chaney was able to keep the crowd laughing, there came a point during the speech where his emotions took over.
“I was told to waddle like a penguin if I couldn’t hold it anymore,” he said while fighting back tears.
Nick Kersten and Harrison Hosker, Max’s best friends with whom he grew up in Nahant, shared their own favorite memories of Max.
“This is the first time I can remember being without him,” Kersten said.
Erin Johnson, who worked with him as a lifeguard in Nahant, recalled Max being the one lifeguard everyone wanted to work with. She also told the story about how, one summer, Max saved the life of a little girl who was unconscious. He knew exactly what to do, she said, and he just sprung into action.
Toward the end of the event, about a dozen young adults made their way to the auditorium stage, holding hands. They were Max’s closest friends from Wentworth. They stood behind in solidarity as Sofie Katona spoke on their behalf.
“Max was the glue that held us together and made Wentworth our home,” Katona said. “He didn’t have a chance to finish what he started, but there is no doubt that he taught all of us to live, laugh, and love.”
Last Saturday night, an alert went out in Boston that Max Carbone was missing. The Wentworth Institute of Technology sophomore was last seen between 1 and 2 a.m. Saturday morning after a night out with friends at a party near Roxbury Crossing, close to the college campus, according to Boston Police. He had been at a party on Alleghany Street near Roxbury Crossing, close to the Wentworth campus. Early last Sunday morning, his body was found in a wooded area off of Terrace Street.
The day after his death, Max’s friends started a GoFundMe page to create a memorial scholarship in his name. In one week, more than 1,400 donors have raised nearly $90,000.
“Thank you for helping to keep Max’s legacy alive,” said Julia Carbone.
Max was a friend, a son, a brother, a cousin, a grandson, and a teammate. He loved music, he was the ”goofiest kid” of all his friends, and he had the power to put a smile on anyone’s face, no matter the situation, was the consensus from his friends and family. The Nahant, Swampscott, and Wentworth communities did not just lose someone, they all lost a part of themselves.
“You have your wings now, Max,” said Katona. “Fly high.”