Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Death is scary. It brings the unknown of the great beyond, whether that's heaven, some other afterlife, or total nothingness, depending on what you believe.

But there is one perk that comes with death: total control of your funeral.


Think about it. You have a captive audience for the whole day. They're all going to be so intentional about respecting your memory that it would really take something huge to upset them.

That, my friends, is a time to push the envelope and take some liberties with that ceremony.

Many Redditors who work in the funeral industry have firsthand experience witnessing recently deceased people exercising that power through wills, parting words, and even pre-death meetings.

Some people have gotten quite creative.

hurtfocker asked, "Funeral home workers and owners: what's the weirdest request you've gotten regarding a deceased person?"

A good amount of people treat their funerals college parties.

They go with a theme they imagine everyone will enjoy, try to inject some sarcastic humor into the planning, and see how it all plays out

Let the Games Begin 

"I got a request for the deceased to be dressed up in a Where's Waldo costume and to have 12 other identical caskets in the room so the guests could try to guess where he was by opening coffins randomly."

"Each guest was to play this guessing game and then sit down before the next person could enter so everyone could play the game."

"Problem was not everyone wanted to play the game.....super odd but they paid a lot for it."

-- ramontgomery

Dead In a Faraway Galaxy 

"The deceased was a huge Star Wars fan and left explicit instructions for his funeral."

"As funeral organist, I was requested to play Star Wars principal themes on the grand pipe organ for prelude music, processional and recessional."

"As I once described, pall bearers were dressed in main characters costumes and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" gave an inspired eulogy, drawing upon memorable moments from the series."

"Using 'full organ' (all the stops out) for climatic moments, I played the Imperial March at the conclusion of the funeral before those in attendance departed for the cemetery for the committal."

-- Back2Bach

A True Celebration of the Life He Lived 

"I'm a florist, and I've created some unique tributes out of fresh flowers, and more."

"I made a putting green two feet across, complete with ball, tee and a club for an avid golfer. I constructed a fish out of various blooms and leaves, placed by a lakeside foliage spray. I've made rainbows and black and white themed arrangements. I put a lot of heart into memorial pieces."

"A few years ago, I was helping a family decide on their tributes for a much-loved man. The wife stressed he was known for his big blue Giant Eagle truck, and most of their friends were from the driver's union."

"I volunteered myself for a watercolor picture of the truck around which I would design a floral spray. It took four attempts, but I was finally happy, and framed it."

"Two days later, I received the most wonderful letter from his wife, and said that everyone agreed it was the most appropriate and important statement about his life. It will sit on her mantle for the rest of her life."

-- cavepainted

Friends Til the Very End 

"My family owns a grave digging business as well as lawn and garden statues, someone purchased an 8ft tall gorilla statue."

"My dad delivered it and asked what they were going to do with it and where they were putting it, the guys said their friends dying wish was to be stuffed up this concrete gorillas a**, and that's what they did."

"They drilled a whole in the a** and put their buddies ashes inside"

-- hayhay428

There also appears to be a strange obsession with eye sockets and eyeballs. Many funeral workers have fielded requests involving what exactly to do with eyes.

All of them are completely unnerving, of course.

Always Watching 

"My husband found out they can make gems out of cremains, and now he wants to be reduced to 2 jewels seated in his own eye sockets."

"I don't want a skull! I don't want to own his skull! I don't want him to watch me with his evil gem eyes!"

-- ParadiseSold

For Science 

"My own will requests that my right eye be removed, preserved and delivered to my oncologist in Miami for him to do with whatever he sees fit."

"Hopefully as a teaching aid to new optometry students, but if he wants to use it for pranks I'm totally fine with that too."

"I survived a very unusual eye cancer and they had to do all kinds of experimental things to repair it when all was done. I jokingly suggested I donate it to science when I went and he said that was an amazing idea. So, here you go."

"I hope whoever deals with my corpse has fun with that request."

-- zerbey

One Last Look 

"My wife's uncle asked the funeral director when he dies he would like his eyes open in the casket during his viewing."

"His entire life everyone commented on his big baby blue eyes and he wanted them open for people to see one last time."

-- Agreeable-Scratch424

And finally, sometimes it's not all wine and roses when the close of life comes along.

People live complicated lives full of strained dynamics with family and friends. And often, that comes to a head right at the final moment.

One Last F-You

"One rich guy hated his kids and didn't want them to get a cent of his wealth. He therefore wanted all his money to spent on a mausoleum for his coffin with a rose garden around it and the eternal upkeep thereof."

"He had the city council-approved architectural plans for the mausoleum included in his will and testament."

"He demanded in his will that the remaining funds, after construction, must go to a gardening service to maintain the rose garden and clean off the bird poop from his mausoleum in perpetuity until the money runs out in a few centuries."

"The mausoleum is in Cemetery de Saint Rambert outside Lyon, France."

-- JingoisticJeremiah

Utter Indifference 

"My coworker was meeting a client who was picking up his mother's cremains. My coworker has the client sign a release, then hands him the urn."

The man immediately turns around and drops the urn into the trash can."

"My coworker is a 40 year funeral director veteran, and without missing a beat, he says, 'Sir, I can understand your strong feelings about your mother, but I cannot allow you to leave that here. What you do once you get out the door is up to you and God.' "

"Dude picked up the urn and left without a word."

-- keliez

To Reflect What She Was Like, Or Never Did?

"My mom asked the embalmer to put a few stitches in my grandma's cheeks to give her a faint smile.

"At the time it seemed like an odd, even slightly morbid request, but 20+ years on, it's one of the only things I remember from her funeral. It was kind of lovely, actually."

-- Fearless_Lab


However old you are, now is the time to start planning the big sendoff. Look no further for some ideas to start off the brainstorm session.

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!