Man Thrown Surprise Funeral Birthday Party

by : Emily Brown on : 23 Oct 2020 08:55
Man Thrown Surprise Funeral Birthday PartyEli McCann/Twitter

Picture the scene: you enter a house to find your friends and family sharing stories about you; there’s an ominous object covered with a sheet and flowers in the centre of the room and photos of you throughout life on display. 

Are you a ghost attending your own funeral? Or just someone whose partner has decided to throw you a very unique birthday party? If you’re Eli McCann, from Salt Lake City, Utah, then it’s the latter. If you’re anyone else, it’s probably bad news.


Eli shared images of his bizarre surprise party on Twitter this week, explaining that the event took place in 2017 to celebrate his 33rd birthday.

Husband throws partner a funeral for birthdayEli McCann/Twitter

Rather than go for a traditional party with balloons, games and upbeat music, Eli’s boyfriend-turned-husband Skylar Westerdahl decided to throw his partner a funeral-themed party, complete with a fake casket made out of an ironing board and pillows.

Skylar decorated the house with images of Eli and instructed friends and family to wear black, as if in mourning. They were told not to address Eli, allowing him to watch over the proceedings as if he really were a ghost.


Eli explained the reasoning behind the event on Twitter, writing:

In 2017 my husband (then boyfriend) threw a surprise funeral for my birthday because “people shouldn’t have to die in order for their friends to gather and say why they loved them.”

Eli, who works as a lawyer, told The Mirror that Skylar’s creativity left him ‘speechless’, which was probably just as well, because everyone would have ignored anything he had to say, anyway.


Skylar encouraged Eli to dress up under the rouse that they were going to a nice dinner, but the truth became apparent when the pair arrived at a friend’s house 20 minutes later.

Eli recalled:

I could see that all the windows were blacked out with curtains, which I thought was odd. He said we needed to stop inside and say hello so I got out of the car.

As soon as we walked in I saw about 15 of my friends all dressed in black sitting in the chairs pretending to softly cry.

My husband immediately took a seat and a friend in priestly attire stood and welcomed everyone to my funeral.


After trying and failing to get people to talk to him, Eli sat on one of the chairs and watched the events unfold. His birthday-funeral included a slideshow of photos set to the Bette Midler song Wind Beneath My Wings, a programme created by his mother, and an obituary written by one of his colleagues.

Eli described the scene as ‘so charming and funny and morbid’, adding: ‘I loved every second of it.’

Thankfully Eli wasn’t ignored for the entirety of his birthday, and after the 30-minute service came to an end Skylar revealed a regular party where the guests were allowed to interact with the main man.


Eli said that his husband ‘melts [his] heart constantly’, but he holds a special place for when Skylar’s expressions of love ‘get weird’.

The story of Eli’s birthday-funeral received hundred of likes and comments from amused Twitter users, so if you’ve been struggling to think of a theme for your loved one’s birthday then maybe a wake is the way to go!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, birthday, Funeral, Now, party, Utah


Eli McCann/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Eli McCann/Twitter


  2. The Mirror

    Man arrives at his birthday party to find boyfriend has thrown surprise funeral for him