The body of San Juan was seated with his eyes open, and clothed in sports gear while holding a cigarette. Photo / Ruptly
A Puerto Rican man who was shot and killed earlier this month has been laid to rest “just as he was in life” in an extremely unconventional funeral.
Fernando de Jesus Diaz Beato, 26, was shot 15 times in the Villa Carolina neighbourhood of San Juan on March 3 and police say they have no leads on the crime.
Describing him as a “happy and very active person”, the family decided against a coffin for the funeral service in favour of a chair, sitting Diaz Beato with his legs crossed, dressed in his favourite clothes and with a cigarette between his fingers.
Finally, as a “surprise”, the funeral home chose to leave his eyes open.
The funeral home admitted they ‘surprised’ the family by keeping Diaz Beato’s eyes open for the service. Photo / Ruptly
“Everybody is really surprised because seeing him like that is like seeing him as if he were alive,’ one of Diaz Beato’s sisters said in a video obtained by Live Leak.
Another sister, Ihizz Diaz Beato, said: ‘We decided to embalm him like this because he was a very happy person, very active and we want to remember him as he was.’
The final effect was if Diaz Beato was sitting and staring at the family and friends who gathered at the funeral.
Marin Funeral Home, in Rio Piedras, has become something of a pioneer of such services in San Juan.
This is the ninth unconventional funeral they have done – but the first where the eyes of the deceased have been left open.
Damaris Marin, the owner of Marin Funeral Home, said they worked closely with the family to achieve the desired effect.
“This time is different because he is seated with his legs crossed but this is the first dead man in history with his eyes open,” she said.
“We have seen that the families wish to see the dead men just as they were when they were alive.
“We gave [the family] a surprise by leaving the eyes of the dead man open.
“I think that this time was the most impressive reaction to any of the work we have done.”
While the result shocked the family, they said they were happy with how Diaz Beato looked.
“We didn’t want to see him lying in the coffin,’ sister Ihizz said.
“We wanted something different. And also, we wanted him to be remembered by his friends and family the same way he was when he was alive.”