A family in Puerto Rico chose an unusual way to remember the loss of a young loved one this year.
Rather than seeing him for the last time in a casket after his untimely death by gunshot wounds, relatives of 26-year-old Fernando de Jesus Diaz Beato apparently decided they would rather see him as he looked in life.
So for his funeral, the man’s body was positioned sitting upright in a chair – eyes open, a flat-brimmed cap on his head, his right leg crossed over his left, an unlit cigar pressed between his fingers. This according to many reports to come out of San Juan since the atypical send-off made headlines around the world.
Speaking with Buzzfeed News, his sister Lhizz Diaz Beato said some have disagreed with the family’s choice to honor Beato.
“But if that’s something that the family wants, why wouldn’t you do it?” she said in an interview with the website.
It’s not the first time the Puerto Rican funeral home has fulfilled such requests.
Demarus Marin, director of the Marin Funeral Home, which performed the service and fulfilled the family’s requests, told the New York Daily News the facility has held nine similar “non-traditional” funerals since 2008.
Beato was reportedly shot 15 times. Police continue to investigate his death.