Recently, we heard the news of a mix up in an American funeral home in which there was a mix up of bodies when the family came to pay last respects. A similar event occurred in Iceland a few years ago. The American family dealt with the event in American style, they sued the home. The Icelandic family dealt with the event in Icelandic style, they smiled.
The Icelandic story goes like this according to a man interviewed by Morgunbladid:
“A few years ago my grandmother died and the family had gathered to pay last respects before the funeral. After the ceremonial part was over we started to walk past the coffin to say final goodbye, as is the custom in Iceland. The face is covered by a cloth, but when it was lifted we saw it was not granny at all. I had felt that the body in the coffin was too big, because my grandmother was small and petite, but I stopped thinking about it.
When this happened we were naturally shocked but the funeral managers quickly carried the coffin out and we waited for the correct body. We pictured them digging up my grandmother from the graveyard, but it was not so and finally they brought in my grandmother’s body. By then the choir had left. There was another ceremony in the church at the same time and the bodies got mixed up. I don’t know if the other family ever knew what had happened.
At first we were a bit angry, but then we decided to smile about the whole thing and look upon it as granny’s final prank. She was probably grateful not to have to suffer through the singing! We interpreted it so that she was with us laughing. She was a great humorist.”