When I think of a funeral, I think of gloomy faces in old suits and dark dresses in a cold church with the body laid out in a coffin in full sight like a prized possession. I don’t imagine this.
This is the body of 26-year-old Fernando de Jesus Diaz Beato, who was killed in a fatal shooting earlier this month.
In a killing that police have no leads on, Fernando was shot 15 times outside his home in the Villa Carolina neighbourhood of San Juan on March 3, reports the Daily Mail.
The Puerto Rican man’s family opted not for the conventional funeral preparations, but rather something a million miles out of the ordinary.
The victims family described him as a ‘happy and very active person’, and thus concluded that he was better suited sat with his legs crossed, dressed in his favourite clothes, and with a cigarette clutched between his fingers, than in a coffin.
As a ‘surprise’, the funeral parlour thought it would be a nice gesture to open Fernando’s eyes.
In the video one of Diaz Beato’s sisters comments to say:
Everybody is really surprised because seeing him like that is like seeing him as if he were alive.
We decided to embalm him like this because he was a very happy person, very active and we want to remember him as he was.
Almost like a work of fine art or sculpture, Diaz Beato sits and stares at the family as if he was there one last time, an effect that the chosen funeral parlour has tried to create numerous times in the past.
However, this is the first funeral where they have chosen to keep the dead’s eyes open. They say it is the first time this practice has been ever done.
The idea of a recently departed loved one just sitting there, casually smoking, staring blankly at you just feels a bit weird.
Police continue to investigate the murder.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.