A 79-year-old funeral director who fell into a grave is recovering from the awkward episode with a sense of humor.

Leo Murphy was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in a hearse after the Sept. 20 fall during a burial service at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.

A hospital security guard joked that he was not used to seeing hearses pull up at the front entrance of the emergency room, one of Murphy's sons said.

Murphy said he can see the humor now, but it was no laughing matter at the time. He suffered two broken ribs when he fell backward and hit the edge of the grave on the way down. He thought he was going to die because he couldn't breathe.

"All of a sudden, I saw a cloud of dust, and that's where I was in the hole," he said.

More than two weeks later, it still hurts to cough, sneeze or yawn, Murphy said.

"At least now I can laugh some," he said.