Ed Driscoll

Night of the Sitting Dead

When “Funeral Poses Mimic Life” is the topic of an article in yesterday’s New York Times:

All last week, people were calling Louis Charbonnet to find out how they might avoid lying down at their funerals. Funeral directors have called; so have people with their own requests, such as the woman who wanted to be seen for the last time standing over her cooking pot.

The calls started coming in to the Charbonnet-Labat Funeral Home during its June 12 viewing for Miriam Burbank, who died at 53 and spent her service sitting at a table amid miniature New Orleans Saints helmets, with a can of Busch beer at one hand and a menthol cigarette between her fingers, just as she had spent a good number of her living days.

Word of the arrangement began to spread, hundreds showed up, the news spread online, and now here was Mr. Charbonnet getting a call from a funeral director in Australia.

Do not miss the astonishing photo of the late Mrs. Burbank atop the article. I grew up in a Catholic family, and open-casket viewings of the deceased before his funeral were an accepted tradition, but we never considered posing their embalmed remains into dioramas. As for that concept, allow me a couple of perspicacious phrases that help to shape modern punditry: Ewwwwwww — and DO NOT WANT.

Perhaps though, this trend could be nurtured into its next phase by really going back to the future. We could embed the dioramas inside of large triangular-shaped masonry structures to help the deceased make his transition to the afterlife.

Pose (for eternity) like an Egyptian — born in Arizona, get a condo made of a stone-a!