Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Gleaner Editors' Forum | Fun in funerals! - Weird actions, requests of relatives leave funeral directors in stitches!

Published:Monday | July 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue/Senior Staff Reporter
Calvin Lyn, president, Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers.

The death of a loved one is often guaranteed to elicit an unending stream of tears from those left behind. But those who prepare them for their final resting place say the requests of relatives, especially from intimate partners, often leave them in stitches.

The fears and requests of the relatives appear to cement a concrete belief among a majority of Jamaicans that there is immense power in the spirit world and that departed relatives can do harm to the living.

From putting needles in the foot bottom of the deceased, to requiring that all pockets be cut at the bottom, to removing the bottoms of socks, and back seams be ripped out, what relatives want leave some laughing in spite of the loss.

Telbert Roberts of Roberts Funeral Services downplayed the impact of working with the dead as their way of earning honest bread.

"There is fun in funeral," he told last week's Gleaner Editors' Forum.

 

WEIRD REQUESTS

 

Calvin Lyn, who heads the Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers, spoke of the funny side of the funeral business.

"Family comes in and asks what kind of outfit they must bring for the deceased. They are told outfit like they are going to church. Wife would ask about socks, we would say optional. Shoes? We would say optional. But wife would say I am bringing a pair of shoes to put on my husband, because mi waan hear when him a (s)tep come look fi mi," Lyn told.

"Next case. Female coming to view Mama in repose next day. Oh, Miss P, Mama is looking so peaceful. But you forget to do one thing. What is that, we ask? You forget to set the watch. They bring anklet, wristlet, chain, ring, but we didn't set the watch," he outlined in dry humour.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com