Dead Man Standing

In 2008, 24 year old Angel Pantojas was killed.  He was shot 11 times and thrown off a bridge in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

His family remembered something that Angel had said at his father’s funeral when he was just 6 years old, “Not me.  At my wake, people will see me on my feet.”

The family sought to give Angel his wish and contacted Marín Funeral Home, who is known for preparing non traditional funerals.

On the day of the viewing, Angel stood, attached to the wall, in his mother’s living room next to his coffin.

Two years later, when a reporter visited the home, the holes in the wall could still be seen.

The practice has become known as El Muerto Parao (Dead Man Standing).

The funeral home has said that the process can take days to complete and can cost $100,000.

In 2010, 22 year old David Colon was killed in San Juan.  His body was posed on his motorcycle at his funeral.

Fearing the El Muerto Parao might become incredibly popular, government and funeral home officials began looking into the legality of such “exotic wakes.”

Turns out, they are completely legal in Puerto Rico and, apparently in some parts of the United States.  Similar embalming methods have been performed on people in New Orleans, Louisiana and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Back in San Juan, 80 year old Georgina Lloren was displayed in her second wedding dress, sitting in her favorite chair and surrounded by plants in 2014.

That same year, 23 year old Christopher Rivera, a boxer, was standing in the corner of a boxing ring at his funeral.

A video summary of this week’s post can be found at

Sources/Photo Credits

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