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)

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."

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. (More funeral stories.)

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