Rite of the sitting dead: When funeral poses mimic life

“It’s been a real boom in Puerto Rico,” said Elsie Rodríguez, vice president of the funeral home. “People have requested every type of funeral that could possibly come to mind. We have only done six so far, because the people who have requested the funerals have not died yet.”

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Ms. Rodríguez said the idea had come from Mr. Pantojas himself. His family has said that ever since he attended his father’s funeral at age 6, Mr. Pantojas had told relatives that he wanted to be viewed on his feet.

“This is not a fun or funny event; the family is going through a lot of pain,” Ms. Rodríguez said. With these kinds of arrangements, “the family literally suffers less, because they see their loved one in a way that would have made them happy — they see them in a way in which they still look alive.”

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