At wake, dead teen is posed playing video game

If the idea of open caskets at funerals is upsetting to you, you may not care much for what may well be a new way saying “goodbye” to the departed: staging them.

At a wake on Sunday, a New Orleans family had the funeral home stage Renard Matthews, 18, in a chair, “video game controller in hand, surrounded by his favorite snacks, and his beloved Boston Celtics on the television screen,” WGNO TV reports.

Temeka Matthews, his mom, said that her son was a big fan of Celtics guard Kyrie Irving.

Matthews was shot to death last Monday.

  • wjc

    Yikes! That is awful.

  • I can guarantee you that my teenage self would have loved this idea.

  • Gary F

    Like they say at funerals, ” he looks good”.

  • KTFoley

    I had a vague memory of a similar mental image, so did a quick Google search for [wake + “propped up in a corner” + funeral].

    Up popped a copy of The Methodist Temperance Magazine, published in 1870 and presented to the New York Library in 1917 as part of a collection.

    In the chapter dolefully titled “Drinking At Funerals”, we have this little gem:
    At an Irish wake, the corpse is sometimes propped up in a corner of the room, a pipe is stuck between the lifeless lips, and the everlasting whiskey is poured into the very mouth of death; and, throughout the livelong night, the friends of the deceased will dance and drink, and curse and rave, more like demons from hell, than reasonable men and women.

    A proud tradition!

  • Jerry
  • AL287

    It’s no more disturbing than open caskets which I have never really been comfortable with.

    The saddest part of this story is the young victim. No parent should ever have to bury a teenage son.

    Condolences to the family.

    • Christian Brooks

      It is so sad all he was doing was walking his dog smh

  • emersonpie

    It’s not for us to judge how people grieve. But I really hope this doesn’t catch on. It’s too close to taxidermy.

    • merry_rose

      Yeah, I’m right with you on that one.

  • Postal Customer

    Best thing I’ve seen all day.

  • merry_rose

    This is like those “family portraits” that people did with deceased family members, usually children, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The creepiest ones had the dead family member “standing” behind parents or younger siblings like it was every day that your dead teen or ‘tween aged sister stood next to you for a portrait.

    • Guest

      Often that would be the only photo of a loved one. They were that expensive.

  • Rob

    Just goes to show you don’t have to be alive to be a human billboard for products, brands and celebrities.

    • X.A. Smith

      I wonder what the conversation is at Doritos HQ.

  • Barton

    I honestly love this. People get to remember him like he really was, not laid out in a box with a bad make up job.

    Maybe it doesn’t hurt that I love the Celtics (though I am old school and worship Robert Parrish).

  • The Resistance

    Everyone grieves in their own way. As Americans become less religious I think we’ll see more personal ways of expressing grief. We see it already in roadside memorials, tattoos, pet funerals, and now this.

    When I travel I’m often interested in visiting catacombs and ossuaries. They can be very artistic and remarkable historical records. I visited the Catacombe dei Cappuccini in Palermo, Sicily this spring.

    The striking difference to me is that most of the people in catacombs died of now preventable diseases, whereas Renard died of gun violence – a very preventable ‘disease’ that we seem to not be able to prevent.

    • Rob

      I see dead people…

  • Annette Raab

    This is his family’s wish – it’s not for me, but who cares what I think about that. I AM saddened by the premature death of this young man. He had his whole life ahead of him. That is really what matters here. It is wrong for him to die so young. His story is part of what needs to change in our country.

  • Steve Jess

    Gives a while new meaning to the phrase “Game Over.”