Should dead bodies be posed at wakes?

Pics and video of bodies posed at wakes inside story


The viral images of a New Orleans teen's body in chair with a video game instead of in casket at his wake sparked some emotional discussion on the Early Edition of WWL First News this morning.

It followed the funeral for 18-year-old Renard Matthews.

His body was in the chair, dressed in his Celtics jersey, wearing sunglasses, holding a video game controller in front of a TV and with his favorite snacks beside him.

Director of the Charbonnet Labat Glapion funeral home, Louis Charbonnet says they try to honor family requests.

''The family came in said, 'Listen, we'd like to do something different.'  This boy was addicted to his games... he was almost a recluse and played his games all the time,'' Charbonnet said.

He says they have done other funerals with a corpse on a motorcycle, with a bass drum, sitting at a table with a drink and a cigarette.. as just a few examples.

How are people reacting? Many are fine with it, others not so much.

Here is what listeners texted 870870 on the topic between 5am and 6am...

  • I guess they have a person propped up in the thing that they like to do in life at their wake might be more rememberable then actually seeing them in a casket and that's the last image you ever get to see him them for the rest of your life
  • Mickey Esterling a NO socialite was shown sitting in a chair smoking and drinking.
  • When I die good luck to the funeral home propping me up in the driver's seat and fitting my Peterbilt inside the parlor
  • WOW!!! what if the deceased was a strip club addict?????
  • I put in my request for that type of wake. I'm like yeah they will still be talking about me after I'm gone.
  • C'est la vie
  • I wonder if they've ever done a body in the Mardi Gras Indian costume.
  • Stop it this is disrespectful to Renard mother. Smh
  • Do a second line weekend at bernies style
  • In New Orleans we put the fun in funeral.
  • If they were to do that for me when I die I would still be laying down... but in the bed because that's practically my favorite part of life
  • The corpse wasn't named Bernie was he?
  • It's morbid
  • Wakes and funerals are for the family and friends left behind. Whatever makes the passing easier and gives them comfort is the way it should be done.
  • It's not about remembering a person how used to be, death is a reminder that we all have to die and stand before God. Doing such things such as that of the family, it's just shows how people ignore reality.
  • Prop me up beside the jukebox when I die
  • Seems like a taxidermal concept. Not unlike posing an animal in a natural setting.
  • The whole thing about a burial, IS LAID TO REST... it shouldn'tbe any other way
  • There is a country song, "Prop me up by the jukebox when I die"! The family was ok with it, so it must comfort them. I never was a mommy. Don't want to be a mummy!
  • THAT'S MOROSE... what's next tie strings to the corpse and have it dance around?????
  • The point is to remember them as they are.
  • Personally I think posing a corpse in a lifelike manner is both sick and funny. Like a persons last wish to Netflix and chill.
  • Makes me think of The Movie "Weekend at Bernies".....He was sitting deceased with sunglasses and in a pose
  • I think that's going way to far. That's disrespectful
  • Only in New Orleans!! We celebrate death with second lines caskets are so old school
  • Corpse on display, sounds like a new reality show in the making...
  • Are we moving towards taxidermy for humans?
  • What is wrong with people
  • #respect it
  • I'm from the Treme area born & rise & we celebrate death differently. We celebrate death as to the way they live.
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