CHICOPEE, MA—An elegant, tasteful funeral, meticulously arranged by an experienced funeral director and attended by more than 200 impeccably dressed guests from across the country, was utterly ruined Monday by the presence of a rotting human corpse.
"It just doesn't make sense," said funeralgoer Emily Timmons, retching at the sight of the 182-pound heap of decaying flesh at the front of the room. "Everything looks so beautiful, but then, right in the middle of it all, there's this disgusting dead body."
In addition to a lovely service at Everson Brothers Funeral Home in Chicopee, the $17,260 affair included a visitation in an elegantly appointed chamber, a parade led by a gleaming white car, and a 30-minute ceremony at Shady Grove Memorial Cemetery. But throughout the proceedings, a pall was cast by the ever-present human carcass.
"It's sick," said Randy Weitz of Sacramento, CA, signing the guest book. "How they could allow this, I'll never know."
From the expensive flowers spread throughout the funeral home to the pair of golden wreaths that greeted attendees at the door, funeral planners spared no expense in their effort to make the event as beautiful as possible. But somehow, they overlooked the presence of the horrible corpse.
The funeral home was decorated in a classy manner, its marble floors waxed to perfection and rows of exquisite plush chairs and couches facing the incredibly nauseating cadaver. Guests were even provided with finely embossed prayer cards to take home, and were encouraged to sign a leather-bound guest book with an expensive pen.
Equally lovely was the eight-foot-long copper-and-black-walnut box with distinctive die-cast detailing and two-tone cover which stood at the front of the room. The silk-cushion-lined box alone, without the color-accented custom-embossed nameplate and silk pillows, cost $3,995 and, according to funeral director Harley T. Everson, is guaranteed to create an airtight seal.
"This model is very traditional, yet graceful," Everson said of the stunning box, whose beauty was shattered by the festering ex-man inexplicably placed inside of it. "Its strong design in solid oak is complemented by crisp white-satin bedding and solid-oak swing-bar handles on both sides and ends, and it is accented with a wooden lock and lid support."
The sight of the body troubled funeral attendees immensely, causing many to break into tears and clutch their loved ones.
"Why?" asked attendee Harold Graham, standing over the terrifying, lifeless body. "Why, oh, why?"
"The flowers, the candles, the people—it could have been such a lovely funeral," said Theresa Dutler of Worcester, MA. "But instead the whole thing was marred by the foul presence of death. It's a shame, is what it is."