Monday, May 12, 2014

Extreme embalming

A growing "niche market" in funeral service is to arrange the deceased in a lifelike pose for his or her viewing or wake. At her request, flamboyant New Orleans socialite and philanthropist Mickey Easterling, who died last month at the age of 83, was set up for her memorial service on a bench wearing a feather boa and holding a champagne flute (IMAGE ABOVE). When famous New Orleans drummer "Uncle" Lionel Batiste died in 2012, his family arranged for his body to be propped up against a faux streetlamp with his bass drum and uniform nearby, decked out in his signature finery: a cream sport coat, beige slacks, tasseled loafers, ornate necktie, matching pocket square, bowler hat, cane, gold watch, and sunglasses (IMAGES HERE). A Puerto Rican funeral home positioned one young man's body on his motorcycle and another one in a boxing ring. Pennsylvania funeral director Caleb Wilde explains that the body would have to be embalmed in position with a fluid that would keep it stiff, and adds – without irony – that if his establishment received such a request, they would certainly take a hard look at it.


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