Eyes wide open: Puerto Rican family opts for an unsettlingly life-like funeral

The life of Fernando de Jesús Díaz Beato, 26 ended badly. On March 3, he was shot to death in front of his home in the Villa Carolina neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In planning his funeral, his family opted for something a bit different – an ending to a life they said was otherwise happy and carefree should be visible on the day Díaz Beato was laid to rest.

“He was a happy and very active person. We want to remember him as he was,” one of the young man's sisters said in a Russia Today news video posted on YouTube as well as Live Leak.

They went to Marin Funeral Home in Río Piedras, which is known for its out-of-the-box approach to funeral services.

In the end, the family chose to rebuff the usual coffin-style burial for a more life-like Díaz Beato – propped up on a chair with his legs crossed, dressed in his favorite outfit with a cigarette dangling from his fingers.

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This is the ninth staged viewing that Marin has done, but it got a bigger response than the others, in part because the funeral home had the idea of leaving Díaz Beato’s eyes open.

"Everybody is really surprised, because seeing him like that is like seeing him as if he were alive," his sister said.

“I think that this time was the most impressive reaction to any of the work we have done," Damaris Marin, owner of funeral home, told the Daily Mail. "This is the first dead man in history with his eyes open."

Although the family appeared to have consulted closely with the funeral home and didn't quite get the viewing they expected, ultimately they were happy with the final outcome.

“We wanted something different. And also, we wanted him to be remembered by his friends and family the same way he was when he was alive,” Díaz Beato’s sister said.

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