Deceased 31-year old Puerto Rican, Henry Rosario Martinez, has one of the most unusual requests from his loved ones prior to his death. He asked them that they dress his embalmed body in his usual attire and sunglass and be sat upright at a poker table with friends and family for one last time.
Henry passed away last Jan. 19 in Baceloneta, his hometown located north of Puerto Rico. Alcohol intake mixed with prescription medications had contributed to the cause of his death. However, speculations by the local media hinted of suicide, though this was not made as the official cause of death.
The deceased's loved ones, even though the request of their dearly departed was squeamishly strange, fulfilled his final request by dressing him with his usual street clothes and topped off with a sunglass. He was then sat upright in the middle of the poker table with which friends, family, and loved ones, sat alongside him as though they were really playing a poker game.
The UK Newspaper, The Sun, wrote: "Henry's father contacted Jose Mendelez - the owner Eterna Luz funeral service, to ask him to embalm and prepare the body of his son so that he could be sat at a poker table (instead of a coffin) before his burial."
The Sun reported that the deceased loved reggae music and rooster fighting as well as gambling. To fulfill his final request, even though Henry was reported to love playing slots, his friends have decided to go with poker instead. At the table, the departed had poker chips and a game dealt, with his cards placed in his hand.
For Puerto Ricans, it seems this kind of thing is becoming something normal.
The funeral home owner even said that this custom of embalming bodies and placing them in a position where it looks like they are doing something or engaged in an activity that they enjoyed when they were still alive, is something they take as normal in Puerto Rico.
The news of this unusual event has created a stir as the story of the dead man in a poker game gave new meaning to the poker term "dead man's hand."