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Teen’s Extreme Wake Features His Body Wearing Sunglasses, Playing Video Games, And Surrounded By Snacks

Different cultures have different traditions when it comes to dealing with their dead. Some Tibetan people take their deceased to a sacred place to allow vultures to consume the body, completing the circle of life. In some cultures, bodies are smoked and preserved to stay with the family. In most of the United States and many other Western cultures, we typically cremate or bury our dead after a somber funeral service.

And then there’s New Orleans.

The city has long had a tradition of doing funerals a little differently. There, funerals are often a joyful celebration of the person’s life, complete with singing and dancing. The tradition reminds us of the kinds of funeral processions seen in some parts of Africa where the deceased is sort of included in the party.

Being dead is no excuse not to dance at your own party as far as some people are concerned. 


Renard Matthews was only 18 when he was robbed and murdered while walking his dog. His funeral was rather typical for New Orleans, including the music and “block party” vibe we are accustomed to.


It was his wake that caught people’s attention. Rather than laying him in a casket for viewing, the New Orleans family worked with Charbonnet Labat Glapion Funeral Home and placed Renard in a recliner with a video game controller in his hands, a game on the television, and his favorite snacks within easy reach. The funeral home has done this sort of viewing before, so they easily accommodated the family’s request.

The scene reflected how his friends and family would often find him at home and, for Renard’s loved ones, it was a comfort. 


Check out this quick little news clip about it. 

Renard’s unique wake quickly became the talk of Twitter. Some people were into it.


Others found it distasteful. 


Our condolences to Renard’s family, both for his passing and for the disrespectful comments they have received about how they chose to lay him to rest. We hope the compassionate reactions offer some comfort.


H/T: AOL, Twitter, YouTube




Written by Erica Diaz

Erica is the consummate cool-kid. She’s so cool that she’s been talked about in magazines, on blogs and on the radio after losing her left eye because of a piece of glitter. She is still actively mourning the passing of Prince and hopes to one day do an all-iguana remake of Graffiti Bridge since iguanas are plentiful near her home in South Florida. She has yet to find one that can really nail the “ahhhyayayeaheaheah” that Tevin Campbell does in Round and Round, and everyone knows the music is the important part of any Prince film. She’s a mother, singer, writer and (if the internet is to be believed - which we all know it is) a Nigerian socialite mid-ranking member of the Illuminati. She prides herself on being the most popular one-eyed rock star under 5 ft tall in pretty much any room she walks into.