'Grave casual' and pro cryers: Burial chic the Baby Boomer way

Who wants a staid bit of 'ashes to ashes' when you could have high drama from a professional mourner?

Cardboard coffins, videotaped last messages, and very personalised services are no longer cutting-edge when it comes to funeral trends, if two eye-catching reports are to be believed. In fact, old is new again when it comes to burial chic.

For example, professional mourners are nothing new – they’ve been around for centuries in parts of Asia and the Mediterranean. But one man who’s offering his services on Facebook has taken the tradition a leap further by offering some eyebrow-raising mourning practices for a price, and he’s getting a lot of attention on social media as a result.

Sylvester Ricardo Moss of New Providence in the Bahamas advertises himself as a professional mourner who can cry on demand. In fact, he’ll do so for just US$50 (A$62) as part of his ‘summer special’ promotion.

More extreme displays of grief are pricier, with “crying and rolling on the ground” coming in at US$150 (A$187), “crying and threatening to jump into the grave” going for US$200 ($249), and “crying and actually jumping in the grave” sensibly pricing in the risk of injury at US$1,000 (A$1,248).

Moss posts convincing photographs of himself with tears streaming down his face as an example of the type of mourning skill he can bring to an event.

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As with professional mourners, dressing the decease in meaningful attire is a centuries-old tradition. And it’s one Baby Boomers are bringing back, according to an interesting report on racked.com.

The days when the dearly departed were dressed up in their Sunday best, usually chosen by their family from the wardrobe in haze of grief, are over, according to funeral director Caleb Wilde.

Instead, people are choosing their own burial outfits, and deciding to be dressed comfortably in items such as slippers or a beloved sweatshirt, or in an outfit that means something to them, such as a team jersey.

Wilde puts the change down to the difference between the Baby Boomers and the more straight-laced generation that preceded them.

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“When I first started, everybody was buried in suits and dresses,” he told Racked. “Now that we’re starting to see the boomers die, it’s individual expression that’s key.”

For those that don’t choose a special outfit, and whose family is unable to do so, there’s no need to worry, however. There are ‘burial clothing suppliers’ that supply funeral homes with inoffensive dresses, underwear, and suits for such occasions. 

What do you think of these trends? Would you pick out a burial outfit for yourself?