Bizarre Burials

Bizarre Burials

Bizarre Burials

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From themed funerals to death masks and ashes tattooed onto loved ones, discover the variety of strange and sensational ways to make your mark when you die.

Nottingham-based bespoke-coffin specialists Crazy Coffins will take on any request from skips to Rolls Royces, no matter how strange. One client, 78-year-old Malcolm, has commissioned a bright-orange aeroplane coffin as a homage to his favourite football club. He has also written his own crematorium committal song, called 'Burn me, turn me, roast me tonight'. To his wife's dismay, he even rehearses his own funeral.

Wendy had other plans when her mother died. After collecting her from the morgue, she took her on a four-day trip around her favourite spots before digging her grave – proof that all you need for a
funeral is a big heart and a shovel.

Death masks are not new, but they are unusual in this day and age. Nick Reynolds has made one for his mum, but he has also had commissions from the rich and famous, including Ken Russell and Malcolm McLaren. Former client Rachel finds her ex-boyfriend's mask a powerful reminder of her loved one and tearfully reveals that she hides it in her closet.

Another hoping to cash in on the fad for fantastic funerals is self-confessed Delboy Darren Abey. His promotion campaign for his 'Only Fools and Horses' hearse stretches from the annual 'Only Fools' convention to Peckham, before he realises that life in the funeral trade is tougher than he thought.

Meanwhile, the death of Julie White's husband has left such a huge hole in her life that she is taking the radical step of having his ashes tattooed as a portrait into her skin. It makes a huge difference that his indelible 'cremains' will be with her always.

As these and other peculiar partings reveal, death can be full of black humour as people find their
own unique ways of meeting their end.

Comments (42)

  • Tracy Smith

    6 months ago

    Tracy Smith

    refreshing point of veiws why dose death have to be sad where born to die and if we choose an diffrent way to celbrate our lives then whats wrong in that where all indviduals thats what makes us all speical .

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  • Trish

    12 months ago

    Trish

    I too have arranged my own funeral. Certainly not conventional but why risk others carrying out what may not be your wishes.I only hope those that arrange the funeral carry out MY wishes. I hope when my will is read and funeral arrangements made known, that there will be somes smiles. Why make such an occasion morbid. When your gone, your gone and there aint no coming back, so for those behind, enjoy the day.Thats what I say!!!

  • Penfold

    12 months ago

    Penfold

    Well, I think Wendy Miller, you are a brave individual, I take my hat off to you, for having the courage to physically, and psychologically do what, I'm sure, by the sounds of it, your Mother would have preferred. Good for you. May she rest i peace. i believe its absoloutely outrageous for anyone to take offence, who the heck is Anyone to judge you?! Death is part of life and small-minded people should have consideration for personal preferences and loved one's feelings. Am sure people who critisise simply have too many hang-ups about this 'taboo' subject. To them I say 'wake up!!' Yes, it would have been a respectful gesture to the deceased, to name them at the end of the programme, in memorandum, but, on the whole, decent, informative viewing. Good stuff channel 5, keeping it Real!

  • Sian

    1 year ago

    Sian

    Dear Wendii Thank you for sharing your last time with your mother. I have just watched your full clip on youtube what an amazing daughter you are. Hugs and best wishes xx

  • Emma

    1 year ago

    Emma

    We do Wendy, our perverse attitude to death and burial is definitly something that needs to be 'unlearned'. It's such a profound thought, I look for example to myself, a busy Mother of four, loved, needed, integrated into a community but if I died tommorrow, I would become a 'problem'. This awful problem is so practical that we cannot bare to think about it, 'the disposal of a corpse', We all need to grasp the fact that dying is a part of life, and the burial of the body afterwards should be as practical as the time the same body came into this world! If we can do this without damaging the environment, crippling our bank balance, and feeling at peace with what we have done, then it's a job well done surely? So, Wendii, if ever there were a beautiful, almost sublime Funeral, it was that of your Mothers.

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  • wendy

    1 year ago

    wendy

    Emma, you are so right. There are billions of bodies under our feet and in our seas. Everything that has lived has died or will die. We humans in the western world have some very odd and hypocritical attitudes to death, don't we. And you are right about cremation. If we all go up in smoke we will choke.

  • Emma Flavell

    1 year ago

    Emma Flavell

    Wendy Miller I am a tough Bird, but the part where you said it had all become about your Mother again , not just digging holes and driving, you made me cry into my chips. Brave,Loyal and totally true to yourself, and I am sorry for your loss.

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  • Wendy

    over 1 year ago

    Wendy

    Michele, I do hope you do not set up a picnic on my mother's grave. Mother would not mind of course, as it was her idea to be buried thus. However, you would be trespassing on private property!

  • Michele Waterman

    over 1 year ago

    Michele Waterman

    After reading Wendy's article on burrying her mother, sadly and unfortunately bodies do smell and leak throughout the decomposition process. Noises, and sometimes corpses "sit up" due to body gasses. In hospitals and mortuaries the bodies undergo processes to minimise this. Bacteria and germs leave the body which is very dangerous to the living! Upon watching the pr ogramme we just remember Wendy saying she was driving towards Harrowgate, and a hole was dug, it was then covered up to make it look undisturbed. Graves should be marked, so that others too have a choice. Imagine setting up a picnic on someone's grave?! Whilst I recognise that everyone deals with sorrow, grief, the loss of a loved one, the thought of their lifeless, unresponsive body with me for days would make me constantly think that if they were alive, I would get a response. Why watch the physical deterioration of a loved one. There was no mention the body was buried in a cemetary, just the countryside. We all have the right to know where bodies are buried. Maybe it is cleaner, safer to just pay for a cremation. What happens during a flood?

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  • katie1989

    over 1 year ago

    katie1989

    RAWA- I have lost some one I loved deeply but keeping them in a camper van for 5days and than dumping them like that in a unmarked grieve is terrible, she done that just to save cash

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  • Wendy

    over 1 year ago

    Wendy

    Could I just reply to the comment by The Truth, in defence of the man with the dying son. I agreed to take part because I was assured it was a caring educational programme. Working title My Perfect Funeral. I was only informed the title was to be Bizarre Burials AFTER I had signed the agreement to release my YouTube video to them. Possibly the man with the dying boy was also misled. Like me, he may have believed it was important to show people they had choices. Clearly he loved his boy.

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  • Lisa

    over 1 year ago

    Lisa

    Was done at gods of ink in worcester

  • Michele Waterman

    over 1 year ago

    Michele Waterman

    I did'nt think it was legal to keep a corpse for 5 days, should be against Health and Safety Laws. I also did'nt think u could bury a body anywhere. not even in the country as it can contaminate drinking water. What about the Death Certificate and informing the authorities of when and where death took place. Having ashes tatooed is a personal choice. Death masks, dead and macabre! I found the programme exceptionally disturbing!

  • rosie Inman-Cook

    over 1 year ago

    rosie Inman-Cook

    Hello Rosie from the Natural Death Centre Charity here. One little inaccuracy in the programme. It states that you can only get coffins through an undertaker. This is not the case. Some manufacturers will sell direct to the public, some, not all. A list of these is available on our helpline website along with lots of other information and facts that are usually hidden from the public. Just google us.

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  • RAWA

    over 1 year ago

    RAWA

    katie1989 - my baby son died 11 weeks ago and I would have held him every day for the rest of my life if I could. Until you personally have experienced the loss of someone you love so much you physically ache for, I do not think you could ever understand true grief. There are many people who will be upset by your comment and I really hope you will give the issue some serious thought before judging others

  • Joanna Greenwood

    over 1 year ago

    Joanna Greenwood

    Wendy, Unfortunately there are some bad undertakers, however there are also some amazing, caring, compasionate funeral directors (i'd like to think myself one of them) Im so sorry to hear your mother had such a terrible experience. Being a funeral director is such an honour, to have someone entrust me with their loved one to allow me to look after that person is so special, anyone who breaks that trust should not be allowed to practise. I always show my families different options and choices, i am here purley to guide and to assist in the dicisions they make. Thank you once again, hopefully what you did will encourage more people to take more of an active role in their loved ones funerals.

  • Wendy

    over 1 year ago

    Wendy

    Dear Joanna Greenwood, I am so happy that a funeral director should take the time to praise someone who has a terror of undertakers! Mother wanted to avoid going anywhere near one after a bad experience when my father died. Thank you very much, and DO keep teling your customers it is NOT obligatory to have undertakers and coffins etc. Thank you again.

  • M Bancroft

    over 1 year ago

    M Bancroft

    Lovely Programme, So many people are scare to tick out the box when it comes to death & funerals. It made me laugh & cry, Wendy i respect your decision to bury your mother in the way you choose and i find nothing wrong with that at all. x

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  • Joanna Greenwood

    over 1 year ago

    Joanna Greenwood

    Fantastic program, as a funeral director/embalmer it good to see people choosing alternative funerals. I loved the Tattoo idea (something to consider in the future as i love my tats) Wendy showed the ultimate courage in looking after her mother, something that i can imagine was the hardest thing you've ever had to do but i thank you for showing people that it can be done your own way, without the massive expense!

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  • Naomi

    over 1 year ago

    Naomi

    This had me laughing and crying! The old guy with the plane was really good fun and to see your rehearsal funeral, whilst being a little 'bizarre' was also something quite unique. The chap who had is 2 year old tattooed on his chest, however, broke my heart! I litterally sobbed for an hour!! Well done guys, it was a beautiful peace and it will help him to remember his son always. I was disappointed that channel 5 didn't finish the show with an 'in loving memory' message at the end to show their respects though.

  • katie1989

    over 1 year ago

    katie1989

    brilliant programme , them tattoos are amazing but I don't agree with the women who kept her mother for 5 days in my eyes that's wrong and shouldn't be aloud

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  • carol

    over 1 year ago

    carol

    im with clairebear where is this parlour i want my grans done asap.its a brilliant idea!!!!

  • ClaireBear

    over 1 year ago

    ClaireBear

    Where's the tattoo parlour too Love this

  • wendy

    over 1 year ago

    wendy

    Mind you, maybe sitting opposite a corpse at the tea table is a touch bizarre. OK Channel 5, I'll let you off.

  • Wendy Miller

    over 1 year ago

    Wendy Miller

    When I agreed to take part in the film the working title was 'My PERFECT funeral.' I do NOT consider what I did BIZARRE, and if they'd told me that was the title I wouldn't have driven 300 miles to a freezing wind-blasted beach to be filmed. Mind you, they did pay for my diesel. Mother would've approved of that. Cheers Wendy.

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