When I die, please do not conduct my funeral in this way. New Orleans native, Miriam Burbank (Mae Mae) received the funeral of her two daughters’ dreams. They created their 53-year-old mother’s final party, and made her the beloved guest of honor. Burbank sat at her very own table, underneath the multicolored glow of a disco ball, a case of Busch beer by her side, a menthol cigarette in hand, bottle of Glenlivet whiskey and dark shades covering her eyes. Apparently, these are the things that Burbank would have enjoyed at any other social gathering. “I didn’t want her to just go, just go. So, I had to do something amazing. So she’s never forgotten,” one of Burbank’s daughters admitted.

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While the idea is extremely creative, the execution just comes off…creepy. What kind of “Weekend At Bernie’s-” inspired ceremony is this? I’ve been to a few open casket funerals, but never have I ever or do I ever want to go to a funeral where the person who died is sitting up. It’s being reported that Burbank’s daughters wanted her funeral to reflect the woman she was, so they had funeral directors at Charbonnet Funeral Home created this still life. Still life? Was the pun intended? I just can’t.

The good people of New Orleans have have this type of unconventional funeral before with socialite and activist, Mickey Easterling. At her funeral, Easterling was causally sitting on an iron bench, wearing a magnificent hat with a glass of champagne in one hand and a cigarette holder in the other. She was wrapped in a hot pink boa.

I guess if the deceased wants to be remembered in the way that they lived, you can’t fault them. Unconventional funerals are more common these days, more often celebrating the life of the deceased, instead of mourning the loss. While I would love for my funeral to be more a celebration of life, than mourning my death, I don’t need my loved ones sitting me up and placing my favorite items within my cold, dead grasp. There’s something about that, that is just way too creepy.

Rest in peace, Miriam Burbank. Would you give your loved one a funeral like hers?

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