Taking It to the Grave

Golden statues and precious gems are not unusual things for people to buried a loved with, but nothing compares to the latest technological trend following people into the afterlife.

Cell phones are finding their way into caskets at the request of some families.

Shawn Smith, of BC Bailey Funeral Home in Wallingford, said the idea makes sense.

“I think, by someone placing a cell phone into a casket, it sort of leaves that line of communication open. They can make a phone call. They can hear the deceased voice,” Smith said.

Not that anyone will actually answer, but some families said they want to still feel that connection and hear that familiar voice on the other end of the line.

“I think it’s something outrageous, but nowadays nothing surprises me,” said Ty Perez, of New Britain.

Meaghan Vendetta, of Avon, said the whole idea is bizarre.

While some think it might be bizarre, it’s actually not the strangest thing to have ever been placed in a casket.

“The very first funeral I ever went on when I went in this business, the casket was full of pickles. She was famous for her bread and butter pickles and evidently they wanted her to take some with her,” Smith said. “I'd say, probably cans of beer is probably the most popular. A lot of families say it’s one for the road.”

A recent survey of 100,000 people found the top funeral rite request was to be cremated with a pet's ashes.

Number two was to be buried with a cell phone.

In 2005, a woman in Manhattan buried her husband with his cell phone and a fully charged battery. Believe it or not, she continues to pay the monthly phone bill and had his cell number carved onto his headstone so others can call him.

If you decide to do the same and send your cell phone into eternity, make sure you remember to leave it on vibrate, Smith said.

"She had lost her father and came into the funeral home on the morning of the funeral and said, ‘Would you please make sure that this is charged and it goes with my father,’ and it was a cell phone. I didn't think anything of it until we were in church and had forgot to silence it and it was ringing in the casket,” Smith said.

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