Post-mortem staging has become a morbid trend in the island of Puerto Rico. Jomar Aguayo Collazo, the guy in above in blue Adidas sweatshirt, was killed in a drug-related shootout a little after his 23rd birthday. Within days of his death, he was back at his mother’s bar, conveniently behind a table, playing dominoes. Booze, condoms and cigarettes close at hand just as he was alive.
Looks like Puerto Ricans have learned a lesson or two from the Victorians. Collazo is just one of the latest episodes in a growing trend of “funeral staging” – setting up deceased family members in the ways they want to be remembered. Let’s just hope this guy really liked to play dominoes.
Despite Puerto Ricans being predominantly Catholic, their rituals and practices often stray outside the orthodox boundaries of Catholicism because of African and Latin American influence on their religion. Close one’s death is commonly marked by wake – time between death and burial – when the close friends and relatives of the dead gather around the body and pray for the soul’s passage to heaven. Candles burn, and the prayers last until the dawn of the day the person is to be buried. Following the novenas – prayers repeated for nine consecutive days in the house of the deceased.
Here are more samples. The bodies must be embalmed well to hinder decomposition.