Graveyard Shift

Funeral Directors And Undertakers Describe The Craziest Things They've Seen At Funerals  

Mick Jacobs
17.2k votes 4.2k voters 137.3k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the stories that are so wild they could wake the dead.

The walk through the valley of the shadow of death takes a bit of help, and thankfully funeral directors exist to provide just that. But for all the effort funeral workers put into their job, death really monkey-wrenches things for people, leading to some outrageous funeral director stories. Stories from funeral directors, from unruly families to the tricks they use to make dead bodies look alive, show that while death gives peace to some, it brings chaos and confusion to others. Few things take on such a range of tones as funeral workers recalling the worst funerals. Naturally, the sadness and heightened emotions surrounding death leads to a number of sad stories from funeral directors. But on the opposite end, many funeral directors recount funeral services where the only tears flowing are ones of (inappropriate) laughter. And of course, if someone dies at a funeral, it only adds to a funeral worker's workload.

Crazy funeral director stories, as seen on Reddit, emphasize how the story of your life truly never ends even after your body enters the ground. In fact, sometimes your story gets the most interesting right before you go into the ground. It's a shame you won't be there to see your own funeral.

1 2,842 VOTES
Buried With The Babies

From user Fire_Medic:

"My best man is a funeral director.

A 'grieving' nephew walks up to my friend and says 'Hey, um, I'm gonna be bringing a cooler tomorrow. Is it cool if I put something in with Uncle Mark?' Now this is fairly common. Assuming they want to send Uncle Mark to the afterlife with his favorite frosty beverage, my friend says sure.

Next day nephew shows up and pulls a couple of unlabeled jars from the cooler and goes to put them in the casket. My friend walks over and asks what the hell is in the jars. Apparently, nephew's girlfriend has had a couple miscarriages and since they are 'devout Christians,' they believe these babies deserve a proper burial. They just weren't willing to pay for it. So to hear my friend tell it, the nephew says 'Well it's real expensive and so we've just kinda been hanging on to them in the fridge until my mom goes. But it's kinda freaking my (living) kids out so we figured we'd just bury them now. It's cool, right?'"

Is this bizarre?
2 2,320 VOTES
When Plenty Of Fish Aren't Enough

From user shefartsinbeauty:

"One of the more bizarre things to have happened as a director. This is a favorite amongst close friends of mine.

I had to cancel a date because I had to be on call for several evenings/nights in a row. I would just keep my schedule clear as opposed to cancel at the last second, unless it was a friend who understood what a pain in the ass my job was. I had several poor experiences with new dates and this.

We were talking on Plenty of Fish and that site is bizarro town to say the least. So I just messaged him we'd do something 'super rad' as soon as schedules allowed. Whatever.

I almost felt guilty, especially since I didn't hear from him. Guys would get pissed or just not believe my job and think it was a joke. I almost relented and risked coffee but then I got a call to go in and embalm; my boss had been awesome and had his other assistant do the removal.

Went in, did my thing, didn't pay much attention until I was done and went upstairs at the funeral home; this was a time before super fancy smart phones and 4G at our fingertips...

Guy I embalmed was the guy from Plenty of Fish I was supposed to go on the date with."

Is this bizarre?
3 2,085 VOTES
Once Mausoleums Are Sealed, They Are Sealed For Life

From user Spits-fire:

"Mortician here. Had a service in a mausoleum a few years ago. The wife of the decedent had been adamant that her husband not get buried. She was insistent that he be above ground in a tomb. She was really mourning his death and chose a double-depth space where both the husband's casket, and then ultimately the wife's, can be entombed end-to-end like train cars.

So there we were, final words were said, the minister blessed the space and the cemetery workers hefted the casket from the roller device it was on, sliding it into the concrete space over all the bb's they spread in there to make it slide easier. They pushed the casket way back in there, and the cemetery workers started getting their tools together to seal up the opening and put the marble faceplate in place. As they were preparing, the wife took this moment to tell all the people there how glad she was to have chosen this space because, unlike below-ground burial, she will be able to come back and visit her husband any time she wants... that the cemetery will open up the tomb and pull out the casket and open it up for her so that she can visit with him. 

We stared at her blankly for a moment and then one of the guys from our funeral home said, 'But, Ma'am, once this is sealed up... it's sealed up... they don't open it again until you pass away...' Well, she suddenly went ape and started screaming and thrashing about. Before we could stop her, she crawled into the tomb and started clawing at the casket, still screaming and crying. Two feet were all you could see flapping about. 50 people gasped and stood there horrified. We had to reach in and grab her feet and pull her back out while she clawed at the sides of the enclosure. When we got her out her dress had come way up exposing her undergarments and she was covered with dust/filth and absolutely crazy screaming and rolling about the floor. Her family dragged her away to one side while they gave the order to seal the tomb."

Is this bizarre?
4 1,762 VOTES
When Grief Goes Too Far

From a deleted user:

"Separated parents are mourning the loss of their toddler at the visitation before the funeral. Mom is grieving unlike any mother I've seen grieve over the loss of a child, almost fake. She proceeds to pick up the child and 'hide' him in her coat and walks out the door while no one is looking. Other funeral director is like... 'holy sh*t, why is there an empty lil casket?' The other funeral director finds the mom running to her car where he stops her and grabs kid.

Separated parents have huge blow out at the visitation.

We find out two months later that the mother and her new boyfriend had physically abused the kid, causing its death. Biological father had no idea."

Is this bizarre?