Kennedy Family Prepares for Funeral

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We've seen this before: the Kennedy family preparing to mourn yet another untimely death. This time, the clan will gather Friday at the home of Michael Kennedy's mother, Ethel, for a private wake before his funeral Saturday in Brookline, Massachusetts. Kennedy's body was flown home from Aspen yesterday, a day after he was killed in a freak accident while playing football on skis. One witness, Couri Hay, told the New York Daily News that Kennedy went out for a pass, caught the ball and slammed headfirst into a tree. "There was blood all over the snow," Hay said. "Several of the Kennedys were on their knees saying the Lord's Prayer."

Michael, who bore a striking resemblance to his father Robert and who died playing a game his family had enjoyed on the slopes for generations, had kept a low profile since news of his messy affair with his teenaged babysitter broke in the Boston Globe. He busied himself with work at Citizens Energy Corporation, the nonprofit organization he headed that supplies heating fuel to the poor. Although he split with his wife Victoria after the scandal, the two reportedly had recently reconciled. Wednesday, she went to Aspen to pick up the couple's three children, who had been playing in the game with their father when he died.