Dead man banned from his own funeral after family brought him to church without a coffinDecember 2, 2020
A DEAD man was refused entry to his own funeral after his body arrived sitting in a chair, instead of being in a coffin.
The funeral of Che Lewis, 29, and his 54-year-old father Adlay Lewis – who were shot and killed in their home – took place on November 25.
Che’s body was driven to the church on the chair in the tray of a hearse after his body was embalmed in a sitting position – giving him his last open-air ride before his burial.
The bizarre funeral procession passed through Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, Port of Spain, on its way to the ceremony at St John the Evangelist Church in the town of Diego Martin.
Dressed in white trousers and a pink suit jacket, Che was reportedly denied entry to the church by staff members who were astonished by what they saw.
Videos and images circulating show the murder victim sat outside the church on the chair in a cordoned off area, with many mourners not realising it was him, assuming he was part of the procession.
Some funeral-goers are even said to have berated the lifeless man for not wearing a face mask.
The funeral was streamed online and gathered lots of attention, although some viewers also failed to realise Che was the man on the chair.
Several videos of his final ride were posted to social media, as two men sat alongside the chair playing music out of speakers, with many commenting it was “proof that Trinidad is not a real place”.
His father, Adlay, had been placed into a coffin by the family, unlike Che who was positioned by Dennie’s Funeral Home.
Their tagline: “Every life is unique therefore every funeral should be unique,” certainly rings true in Che’s case, although his body was later placed in a casket for burial.
The owner, Dennie, told Loop News, “The family requested it, but it was something we had on our bucket list to do so when the request came it wasn’t foreign to us because we are aware of funerals like that abroad.
“We had him by us for three days to monitor how he was doing in the chair before we took it public,” he said.
The eccentric trend is known as extreme embalming – where bodies are preserved by injecting them with a chemical fluid which makes them totally rigid.
Extreme embalming is said to have originated in Puerto Rico in 2008 to give the deceased a more celebratory send-off.
The demand for it is ever increasing, with people paying around £2,000 to have their loved ones somewhat ‘resurrected’ before they are laid to rest.
Corpses are then forced into position by some particularly gruesome methods, such as having their feet nailed to the floor or poles erected behind their necks – and even their limbs prised apart.
Police officer Brent Batson told local media outlet Trinidad Express: "We are disappointed in the reckless behaviour engaged by Dennie's Funeral Home.
"Carrying persons in a dangerous manner is an offence with a £750 penalty and the police will continue the investigation into the funeral company's conduct on the road."
Local Catholic priests also slammed the stunt as “disrespectful”, and suggested parishes will now request full details of future funerals.
The father and son were buried in the St John the Evangelist Cemetery after the funeral.
The pair were shot and killed at their home in Diego Martin on November 15.
Che’s brother Abisaja John, 45, was also shot dead in their family home on July 24 this year.
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