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Death, like life, can get crazy. For all the preparation and planning, and despite the somber gravity of the situation, when you gather a large group of people together to consider the entire life of another of their species, things can go awry.
People fall down, get drunk, say weird things; accidents happen, puns suddenly become inappropriately hilarious, the ashes get spilled; wherever humans gather in numbers, wherever humans live and die, the potential for a legendary story increases.
Here are some of the best and craziest funeral stories (and funeral-related stories) we’ve collected.
8 Crazy Funeral Stories
1. THAT’S NOT MY HUSBAND
… said poor Janie Holsey when she saw the casket. Without missing a beat, a funeral home employee pipes up with, “That’s how they look when they die.” The funeral proceeded, but the glaring problem remained: the body in the casket was not Janie’s husband Kenneth “Tex” Roberts.
When the funeral director finally admitted that there was a “mix-up,” the family and friends went hysterical. Two people were hospitalized (heart and athsma attacks), everybody was crying, and, when Roberts’ body finally arrived, his legs were seen hanging out of the tipped casket in the back of the hearse. Apparently the funeral employees driving the hearse had driven so fast that the casket had been jostled and tipped.
Stellar. Just stellar.
2. HIS FINAL ROUND
Christopher Rivera Amaro, a super featherweight boxer with a 5-15 professional record, made his final appearance in the ring – at his own wake.
His family dressed his body in his boxing outfit before propping him upright in a makeshift ring for a wake at a community centre in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan.
Amaro’s mother Celines, his wife Lidianette Carmona and son Julio Christopher posed for photos with the body, which was also visited by hundreds of other mourners.
What a way to say goodbye.
3. BURIED IN HER FAVORITE CLOTHES
Different family buried mama in her finest Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie. Only in this. Closed casket, but mama went to the grave in a frilly black neglige, with matching thong and stockings. She was also in her 90s. Thank god for the closed casket.
To which everybody said… “Whaaaaaa???”
4. NOT COCAINE
Three teens burglarized a home in Missouri, taking off with cash, jewelry, electronics, and what they thought was cocaine. Only when they tried to sample the ‘product’ did they realize it was something less than ideal for getting high. “All my jewelry was gone, all my son’s electronics, I had my father’s ashes – they were sitting on the dresser,” one of the victims, Deborah Matthews, said. “They took my dad’s ashes.”
5. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE RACOON?
We are doing a huge service. The deceased was well loved in the county, and we have dignitaries from the state capitol in attendance. Deceased had family relations who worked for state police, sheriff, FBI, local PD, fire, National Guard. A former senator is there, and the then current governor had sent a member of his staff to read a letter during the open memorial time.
We have a huge procession that takes more than an hour to snake through town to the cemetery. As I’m pulling in to the cemetery, the sexton and grave digger meet me and they begin parking cars where they can. The limousines pulling family members and pallbearers are parked and idling (it’s mid summer and hot outside) and we are about ready to have them come forward, retrieve the casket, place it on the lowering device, etc. when we notice the raccoon that us in the bottom of the grave. Angry, loud, and probably hungry.
A lot of discussion goes on where we are trying to figure out how to get the raccoon out of the grave. We’ve got every flavor of law enforcement giving ideas, from sending someone in to grab it to calling in animal control. The digger, a good ole’ boy finally gets tired of all the talk and walks to his truck. He pulls out his 22/410 scout gun he keeps on hand for rattlesnakes and shoots the raccoon with a load of ratshot. This kills the raccoon.
About this point we realize nobody had told the family why we are all standing around the grave. They sat there, watching us discuss a hole in the ground intently for about 15 minutes and then someone they’ve never seen before shoots into the hole. They find this to be hilarious.
We send one of the National Guardsmen down into the hole to retrieve the raccoon (he had the least expensive dress uniform/suit on, thus cheapest to clean). He drags it up, we put it in a pillowcase and the digger takes it over to his truck and tosses it in the back.
We do the burial, close the grave. Everyone mills around for a few minutes, then trickle out of the cemetery until just a few of the family are left. They inquired as to the fate of the raccoon, and asked us to give it a proper burial. We figure why the hell not, so the digger trenches a hole out in the undeveloped area. We lay the raccoon to rest, someone said a prayer (amidst all the laughter) and we close the grave. Someone put flowers on it, and we all left.
It was memorable, to say the least.
Not sure whether to laugh or cry at that story….
6. CEMETERY SLIP ‘N SLIDE
This is a story from a friend of mine: He had been told to double check that the grave the cemetery dug out was the right plot. A small but highly important detail: It had been raining for a solid week, so the earth around the edge was soft. A little too soft, as it turned out.
To make matters worse, this was a double grave. What most people don’t realise is that graves are not typicaly 6ft deep unless they’re a double grave, and then they can go even deeper than 6ft. None of the cemetery workers were around, so he had to wait, ankle deep in muddy water, for the procession to arrive before anyone noticed that something was wrong. His boss spotted the van he’d come in, still running, and was probably getting ready to rip his intern a new one when the family discovered just what had happened to said intern. I imagine it was quite the shock.
A shocking discovery indeed.
7. 102 YEAR WAITING PERIOD
U.S. Civil War vet Major Raphael Guido Rombauer passed away in Kirksville, Missouri in 1912. From Odee:
His remains were sent to St. Louis for cremation where they remained unclaimed for 102 years. They were then brought to the attention of his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Young, who recently claimed them.
On April 11, 2015, Rombauer was finally interred at the Park Cemetery in Carthage. Volunteers in period Civil War uniforms participated as he was laid to rest next to his first wife.
8. “DAD, CAN I HAVE SOME WATER?”
Now this is just bizarre. And really, really sad. Moments before the start of his own funeral in Belem, Brazil, a young boy sat up in his coffin and asked for a drink. From the Mirror:
Kelvin Santos, two, startled grieving relatives only hours after doctors were unable to resuscitate him during treatment for pneumonia.
He apparently smiled, looked round, drank his water then reclined back in his coffin.
Dad Antonio Santos could not wake Kelvin again and carried him to hospital in Belem, northern Brazil. But doctors were mystified as to what happened and confirmed he was indeed dead.
Mr Santos said: “During the wake I held Kelvin and said, ‘son, come back to daddy’.
“And a few hours later my son sat up in the coffin and said, ‘daddy, give me water’.
“Everybody started to scream. We thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life. Then he lay down again and didn’t move again. We couldn’t wake him.”
Definitely a crazy funeral story, but oh so sad. Like this:
- 15 Fascinating Funeral Photos – Man’s best friend, The Stranger’s Tomb, cemetery weddings, and more.
- Cremation Urns in Pop Culture – From Modern Family to Monk, some sightings of cremation urns on TV and at the movies.
- 6 Eerily Beautiful Abandoned Funeral Homes & Morgues – Exactly what it sounds like.
- 20 Hilarious Funeral Humor Memes – Memes from the funeral and cremation industries.
- 35 More Hilarious Funeral Humore Memes – Our first round of memes was so popular, we had to give it another go.
- 27 Things to Do With Cremated Remains – In case you’ve ever wondered.