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Funeral Trend: Posing Deceased Like They're Alive

Puerto Rico spearheads phenomenon
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2014 5:39 PM CDT
Funeral Trend: Posing Deceased Like They're Alive
In this Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 photo, the body of boxer Christopher Rivera is propped up on a staged boxing ring during his wake in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rivera was memorialized at his wake standing up in the makeshift boxing ring set up at a community center. Police said he was shot on Jan. 26. No...   (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

(Newser) – A boxer wore his gloves and stood in the corner of the ring, apparently ready for a fight—except for the fact that he was deceased. The scene was the funeral of Christopher Rivera, a former fighter whose memorial service belongs to a relatively new trend: Bodies are posed the way they might have been seen in life. Others featured a man riding a motorcycle and a woman sitting in a chair. "It’s been a real boom in Puerto Rico,” says an exec at the funeral home that organized the events. “People have requested every type of funeral that could possibly come to mind."

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It began with a man who stood at his funeral; he'd always wanted it that way, family said. And the phenomenon is no longer limited to Puerto Rico. It's been happening in New Orleans, too, where this month a deceased woman sat at a table with a cigarette and a beer during her funeral, the New York Times reports. Her family saw the event as a party, disco ball included, the Daily Mail notes. Unsurprisingly, some have raised objections to the trend. But Puerto Rico has passed a law legalizing the process, and Louis Charbonnet, a New Orleans funeral home head, says a priest has OKed it. (Read more funeral stories.)

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