While funerals are generally conservative and solemn affairs, the coffin makers at England’s Crazy Coffins have been trying to prove for the last 25 years that this does not always have to be the case.

Crazy Coffins is just one of several companies which specialize in making coffins in just about any shape or design you can think of.  Do you consider yourself to be a spicy little number? How about being interred in a six foot long Habanero pepper? Can’t imagine life without your cell phone? No worries, they can arrange for you to be buried in a six foot long replica.  Other options include fish, a Rolls Royce, a Viking boat, and a skateboard, just to name a few.

The idea of making your mark after you are gone is hardly new. Indeed, the word Mausoleum, comes from the tomb of King Mausoleous of the ancient city of Halicarnassus, whose tomb was so grand, that it was and still is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. But I digress…

The modern fascination with exotic coffins is best seen in Ghana, from where the enterprising Crazy Coffin creators draw their craftsmen. According to a recent article in the UK’s Daily Mail, many Ghanaians believe in an afterlife and regard deceased ancestors as more powerful than the living, which beliefs have driven some to make exotic resting places for their loved ones.  The shapes of Ghanaian caskets often reflect the deceased’s profession or links to certain clans.

With an exotic coffin, the opportunities for those who enjoy the thought of planning for the end of life with a little irony seem truly endless. Instead of having a final nail in your coffin, your coffin could instead be a nail.

Of course the final irony is this:  As discussed in my blog earlier this week (“Who decides what happens at your funeral?”), in Ontario, the executors of your Estate do not have to follow your wishes with respect to the manner of your burial.  So if you are committed to the idea of a six foot long replica of The Edmund Fitzgerald as your final resting place, it may be a good idea to let your executors in on the joke ahead of time.

Thanks for reading.  Enjoy the weekend,
Saman Jaffery