Sunday, 22 January 2017

Drive-thru funerals, Reuben John Smith, Jim Nelson Gernhart and Sandra Ilene West

Drive- thru funerals:
(image: gettyimages)

Modern life leaves little free time in which to get things done, and for some, mourning is no exception. 
In Louisiana, the Pointe Coupee Parish presented a drive-thru style of funeral, where people could view the open casket of the deceased through a window, and stick their arm out of their car window and sign the guestbook.

The man who attended his own funeral:
 (image: nathankramer)

Practicing an important speech or event can be the difference between disappointment and success.
 In life, we often rehearse the celebration of milestones, such as weddings, for example- but what about funerals? 
A funeral is the mourning, and also the celebration of one’s life; an event where loved ones open their hearts in honor of passed relatives, a reflection of one’s entire life- such an important event that none of us will ever consciously experience.

 But has anyone ever rehearsed their own funeral? Well in the 1940’s, one man from Burlington, Colorado did just that. The man, a man in his seventies named Jim Nelson “Living corpse” Gernhart, was so disappointed by the funerals he had attended that he decided to heard together the local townsfolk and do a practice run of his own death party. 

Although unconventional and macabre in theory, in practice the event was the most touching day of Gernhart’s life. 

(image: nathankramer)

He was overwhelmed as he listened to the emotional testimonies from his pastor, friends and family and humbled by the amount of people who had turned up to his funeral.

Reuben John Smith:

(images: findagrave )

Reuben John Smith had no family to speak of, and being in his late seventies, thoughts of his own mortality began to play on his mind.
 With no one around to take care of his funeral arrangements when the time came, he took matters into his own hands to make preparations. 

Instead of being buried in the conventional laying down position, he requested to be buried sitting up in an oak chair. 
He had a tomb constructed of marble and brick and would be covered in a black cloak. Smith was transported to his final resting place following his death in 1899 in Massachusetts, he had an extra key to the tomb in his pocket just in case

Sandra Ilene West:

(Images:mysanantonio and dailymail)

In the late seventies, 36 year old Sandra Ilene West died of a drug overdose.
 As instructed in her will, she left her fortune to her brother in law, as well as a request for her funeral arrangements. 
She requested to be buried seated in her baby blue Ferrari, posed in a reclined position, clad in a lace nightdress. The unusual request was given the green light by the court and Sandra and her beloved car were encased in a steel and concrete box and lowered into a large grave plot in Texas at the Alamo Masonic Cemetery in San Antonio. 

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