Grief can bring out a lot of different emotions in people. For some, the unbearable sadness of losing a loved one can invoke some questionable behavior. For others, the desire to truly honor the deceased can get the best of them, and in some cases anger takes over.
Whatever the case, funeral directors have their job cut out for them and can find themselves putting together some bizarre arrangements at the request of the family, friends, and even from beyond the grave.
Celebrating life knows no limits and not every funeral is sad. Check out some of the most outrageous funeral arrangements that are sure to make your jaw drop.
I’ll Take the Left Shoulder, Please
It is not uncommon for families to request multiple urns when a loved one is cremated — what is odd are the specifications. Several funeral directors have encountered families with very specific requests such as an arm, a leg, or even the heart.
“I’ve been asked to cut off particular body parts so that after cremation this person could have his leg, that person could have his arm, etc.”
While that seems bizarre, some of the body requests are more heartbreaking.
“My absolute weirdest request was to cut out the heart and cremate it separately so he could keep her heart in a locket next to his own heart.”
When someone passes away it is like a piece goes missing — some apparently know just what specific piece they need.
Not the Most Appropriate Funeral Attire
When attending a funeral, guests are more inclined to dress up. The combination of wanting to appear respectful and being in a more formal setting results in people pulling out their Sunday best. While suits are appropriate to wear, for the sake of everyone else attending it might be best to leave the birthday suit at home.
“A man asked if he could view his deceased friend in the chapel of rest whilst being naked. As in he wanted to be naked.”
Luckily for the other guests attending, this was one request the funeral director did put a stop to.
Keeping the Family Name Alive
To lose someone you love is devastating, and it’s even worse when they pass prematurely. For so many people the families that could have been become lost when the person they love dies. But others would never let something as silly as death keep them from starting a family and will come up with some crazy ideas to get what they want.
“I was asked once by a woman to ejaculate her husband for her so she could still have his kid.”
The idea is impressive, but not sure if the execution is plausible. Thankfully this was a request the funeral director had no problem turning down.
Until Death Do Us Part
When a couple gets married, they vow to stay together in sickness and health, until death parts them. The real question is, does the vow still count if half of the couple is dead beforehand?
In 2012, Chadil Deffy from Thailand married his fiance Sarinya “Anne” Kamsook in a dual wedding/funeral. The couple had been together 10 years and were engaged to be married. Before they could set a date, Anne was killed in an accident, prompting Chadil to move forward with the nuptials despite her death.
A friend of the groom said this was Chadil’s way to right a wrong as he put off setting a date with Anne to focus on his studies.
“He felt he hadn’t done enough for his girlfriend of 10 years while she was alive. Before her sudden death in a road accident, she had suggested that he marry her. But he had demurred, putting the idea on hold. The “wedding” was his attempt to right a wrong, however, belated the gesture might have been.”
Practice Makes Perfect
With anything in life, it can take a few practice runs to get it just right. Knowing this, 22-year-old Zeng Jia from China decided to take matters into her own hands when it came to her wake. To avoid missing out on anything, and ensuring the details were just right, she decided to throw herself a funeral.
Zeng Jia used her savings to give herself the elaborate funeral she wanted complete with origami birds, photographers, and a crowd to mourn her. Friends and family were invited and she even splurged on a makeup artist who specialized in funeral makeup.
When the funeral began, she took her place in the coffin to play dead for an hour as guests to the event mourned her. She completed the look with a stuffed Hello Kitty resting on her chest.
You Can Never be too Prepared
Animals are often thought of as family members whose needs are put even before their owner’s. The death of a pet can be shattering and as any owner of a fur baby knows, it is crucial to honor them by showcasing their importance to the family.
“An elderly couple came in and bought a pre-planned funeral package for their cat worth more than $20k. They wanted a viewing in the chapel, catering, visitation from an available reverend, a motorcade to the crematorium, and a cat shaped urn.
After helping them with the details, my manager asked if they had made any similar arrangements for themselves. They laughed and the wife replied “we won’t be leaving anytime soon so there’s no need for that! Our darling only has a short time left though.”
As sad as that moment will be when it comes, it is always important to be prepared.
Caskets Come in all Shapes and Sizes
Making a funeral unique is a great way to honor the person who passed away. It is not uncommon for people to be buried with photos, letters, or favorite personal items. In the case of Billy Standley, that tradition got a little more complicated.
Billy loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, so much that his wish was to be buried with it. Being buried with a 700lb+ motorcycle is no easy feat and knowing this he prepared for it. Prior to his death, his sons built a casket out of Plexiglass which was kept in his garage.
The see-through fashion of the casket held a purpose. Billy didn’t want to just ride out in style, he wanted a crowd. Held up by numerous straps and a metal back brace the casket was hitched to the back of a pick-up truck, assisting Billy with his final ride.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
A funeral is often viewed as a celebration of life, and instead of mourning the deceased it focuses on the departed when they were alive. This may alter the mood of the occasion by reducing the amount of sorrow typically felt during a funeral. It is safe to say that nothing brings more cheer to an event than the holidays.
In January 2013, TLC featured the funeral of a Christmas-enthusiast man from Dallas, TX on their show “Best Funeral Ever.” The folks at Golden Gate Funeral Home pulled all the stops to ensure one unforgettable funeral.
Complete with costumes, lights, reindeer, and dance numbers, this was sure to be a Santa-approved wake. Hope there weren’t any kids in attendance.
Money is never free and depending on the person giving it, it can come with some absurd strings attached, especially when spiteful feelings are involved. This was the case when Samuel Bratt passed away in 1960 with a grudge against his wife.
After hearing years of nagging from his wife regarding his love of cigars, Samuel used his will as the ultimate revenge. Upon his death, he left his wife £330,000 with one condition. She must smoke five cigars a day in order to receive the payout.
Suddenly putting up with the occasional cigar doesn’t seem so terrible.
This Funeral was out of this World
Life is short and it is impossible to achieve every single thing on your bucket list, so why not save a few for after death? It is no surprise that original Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had a passion for space and science fiction, or that he would want a first-hand look at the world he created for entertainment.
Gene’s last wish was simple, he wanted to be cremated with his ashes sent into space. After his death in 1991, his wish was granted when his body was sent into orbit on a Spanish satellite.
If sounds like a lonely way to spend entirety don’t worry. His wife joined him 10 years later.
Anything to Save a Buck
From start to finish, the bills for funerals are not cheap. The average funeral can run a family anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. With such a steep costs, it is no surprise that the family may want to cut costs when they can.
“I had a gentleman in the 700lb range. We would have to contract with different crematory as ours couldn’t handle that sized person. The family asked if he could be cut in half and cremated with us so they didn’t have to incur the extra costs.”
Talk about trying to cut the price in half.
The Life of the Party
Throughout her entire life, Miriam Banks was known as the life of that party, so it was only fitting that she go out with a bang. To celebrate her life, her daughters took it upon themselves to throw their mom one more awesome party featuring her as the main attraction.
Foregoing a traditional coffin, Miriam was placed in a party scene seated at a table. Surrounded my friends and family, the scene was completed with a beer, some whiskey, a cigarette, and her favorite R&B tunes blaring in the background.
The set-up allowed guests to see her one last time doing what she loved.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Black attire, the sounds of sobbing from around the room, grim and solemn expressions on guests faces – funerals can be such a drag. Thankfully there is a solution for that. When a funeral starts to feel a little depressing bring in the clowns!
In order to lighten up the heavy events, Dead Happy Ireland rents out clowns to liven things up a little. The clowns are known to do a variety of bits to generate some laughter including breaking wind during eulogies, being over dramatic mourners, and dressing in bright clothing.
As of now the funeral clown trend seems to be primarily in Europe. Sorry rest of the world.
Fly Like a Butterfly
Unexpected deaths leave family and friends with thoughts of what could have been. In the instance of 23-year-old aspiring boxer Christoper Rivera Amaro’s family, the regret was unbearable. After he was shot in 2014, his mother wanted to make sure the funeral represented who her son was and what he loved.
Wanting to put an emphasis on his boxing career the funeral home suggested creating a boxing ring for him. The scene included Christopher standing upright wearing a yellow hood, blue boxing gloves, and sunglasses.
Family and friends were able to say their final goodbyes, and pose for their final pictures, in a way they knew he would have been happy.
Mom Never Approved of those Tattoos
When preparing for the funeral of a loved one, it is not uncommon for the family to want the deceased to look their best. Occasionally this means making them look how they feel is best as opposed to how the person actually was. This can include the way makeup is applied, how their hair is styled, or the clothes they are displayed in. Other times it could be a chance for the family to get rid of anything they never really liked.
“We had a family request we had cut off a young man’s tattoos and tan them.”
See, and people think tattoos are permanent.
It’s All Good
When it comes to a special request when embalming, it is helpful to have someone open-minded and ready to improvise doing the job. This family knew their loved one lived by the term “hang loose” and decided to send him off relaying the message for all entirety.
“One family wanted me to place the deceased’s right hand in a ‘shaka’ (hang loose). So I positioned his hand whilst embalming, and then used a clear, plastic card holder stick super glued to his thumb and pinky to keep the fingers spread. The family was very happy.”
At least the guy can spend the afterlife relaxed and doing what he does best.
Owning up to your Mistakes
For those who are religious, passing away can represent a day of judgment when the deceased get to meet the big man upstairs. In order to prevent any sort of confusion, this family wanted to make sure God saw exactly what went down.
“I had a family of a woman who had murdered her husband with a fire poker…. (She committed suicide once they were ready to arrest her) …..the kids wanted her buried with a fire poker so “God” could “see” the weapon.”
Now that God has seen the weapon he can make a decision based on all the facts.
Man’s Best Friend
Pets can become terribly upset when their owners pass on. As a pet cat brought so much joy to their dad, one family thought it would be a great idea to bury the family cat in the coffin so they could spend eternity together.
“Had a family ask if we could bury dad with his cat. I assumed the cat had died, and had been previously cremated. Silly me, they came in with the cat, quite alive, and basically expected me to euthanize the cat and put it in with dad.”
Nothing quite beats the bond between a man and his cat.
Play that Funky Music
It may not be noticed but there is typically background music during a funeral service. In some cases, it is quiet, somber music or a list of some of the deceased’s favorites. What may be surprising is a list that funeral directors have determined to be the strangest requested songs they’ve received to have played at a funeral.
1. Kool & the Gang – “Celebration”2. The Prodigy – “Firestarter”3. AC/DC –”Highway to Hell”4. Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust” 5. Monty Python – “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”6. The Trammps – “Burn Baby Burn (Disco Inferno)”7. Queen – “Don’t Stop Me Now”8. Benny Hill theme song9. Teletubbies theme song10. Deal or No Deal theme song
Sounds like a party!
The Hottest Trend In Home Decor
After a body is cremated, families will often take home the remains and display them on a mantle. In a burial, families will purchase a headstone to display the gravesite in an attractive way. This family thought to take it a step further and try to decorate the family business with Grandpa.
“There was this one time when a family wanted the grandfather’s bones to be arranged on what I would describe as an over-sized dream catcher. They said they were going to put it above the door to their casino as a sort of decoration/guardian piece. I’m not sure what they wanted me to do as I just organize the hearse schedule and viewing arrangements. Alas they gave me a box of various types of materials including twine and leather strips. Let’s just say I wasn’t about to turn the old man into a kindergarten arts and crafts project.”
No word on if they were able to make it happen.