No matter how much wealth you accumulate during your time on Earth, when you draw your final breath, you can’t take it with you. That is, unless you request to have your fortune buried with you. And one man reportedly did just that. However, the story goes that his widow wasn’t entirely on board with his proposal – and in response, she came up with an absolutely genius plan.
The experience of losing a loved one can be a difficult time for anyone. Indeed, while you might not get along with every member of your family, it’s still heartbreaking to lose them. However, many people are able to make an impact on the world after their passing.
Indeed, it’s not at all uncommon to hear of people leaving dying wishes to be enacted after their deaths. Respecting these wishes can often be challenging, though.
For instance, just look at Fred Baur, the inventor of the Pringles can. When he died, he asked his children to bury his ashes in one of the iconic tubes. They obliged, settling on the “original” flavor to hold his remains. And then there’s Mark Gruenwald, a comic book artist whose ashes were mixed into the ink of “Squadron Supreme,” a 12-part series released in 1997.
However, in the case of the man who wanted to be buried with his fortune, it was quite a different story. In fact, his dying wish was apparently fueled by greed, rather than anything else. The story goes that the husband and wife had very different outlooks on life. He reportedly worked hard for his money and scrimped and saved over every penny, while his wife was kind-hearted and giving.
Before his death, the man had apparently made a rather strange request of his wife. And it seemingly wasn’t one that would gel naturally with her view of the world. The man reportedly asked to be buried with all his savings.
“Now listen, when I die, I want you to take all my money and place it in the casket with me, because I want to take all my money to the afterlife,” the man reportedly told his wife. Of course, that would have meant that none of his money would have been left to her. And considering how stressful money worries can be, it must have seemed like a surprisingly selfish request.
However, because his wife was apparently so kind-hearted, she couldn’t easily turn her husband down. He was reportedly able to convince her to promise with all her heart to fulfil his wish. Given what he was asking, though, she must have faced quite the dilemma in figuring out what to do.
The story continues that not long after putting this final wish to his wife, the man passed away – and a funeral was held. But just before the undertakers could set about lowering him into the ground forever, she apparently cried out for them to stop. After all, she had one last thing to do.
The woman apparently stood up and walked over to the casket, carrying a shoebox that she’d brought to the funeral along with her. Before the undertakers sealed the coffin for good, she reportedly placed the shoebox inside the casket, alongside her deceased husband.
Once she’d done so, the story goes, the undertakers closed the casket and took it away. A witness to this – a friend of the couple – was reportedly aghast at the sight. “I hope you weren’t crazy enough to put all that money in there with that stingy old man,” they apparently said to the widow.
“Yes, I promised,” the widow reportedly responded. “I’m a good Christian, I can’t lie. I promised him that I was to put that money in that casket with him.” Indeed, it seemed that her moral compass had pointed her in a particular direction, and that was to honor her departed husband’s final wish.
If the details of the story are correct, it would seem almost unimaginable to think that she could have followed through with her husband’s selfish request. Indeed, one can only imagine that a fierce debate must have raged within the woman as she made her mind up over what to do. After all, practical sensibilities would surely have told her to do otherwise.
However, she had apparently come up with a plan. It would fulfill her husband’s last request, while still doing what was objectively the best thing for her. And, if it’s to be believed, it was absolutely ingenious.
“You mean to tell me you put every cent of his money in the casket with him?” the friend supposedly asked. “I sure did,” the widow apparently replied. “I got it all together, put it into my account and I wrote him a check.”
We bet you didn’t see that one coming! It was a stroke of genius. Indeed, the story has it that the man was technically buried with all his money, just as he had requested. However, his wife would still also have access to it for her own needs – or to pass on as she liked.
While this story may be something of an urban myth, it’s not too far from some real-life cases that have come to light over the years – even if they came about for rather different reasons. For instance, in 2013, a Brazilian billionaire announced plans to bury his $500,000 Bentley underground. Despite the furor over the announcement, however, he didn’t actually go through with it, though. Instead, he explained that the stunt was to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
“I didn’t bury my car, but everyone thought it absurd when I said I would,” AdAge quoted him saying. “What’s absurd is burying your organs, which can save you many lives.” Meanwhile, in 2017 a Ugandan man was buried with around $5,300, because he wanted to use the money to bribe God to allow him into heaven.
Indeed, Charles Obong wished to use the money in the afterlife in order to absolve him of his sins. However, not long after he died, Obong’s family had the coffin exhumed and the money removed, apparently due to the fact that he didn’t specify the sins that he wished to make up for.
There’s no denying that there are some very strange true stories about what people want to happen after they die. And whether or not the story of the man who demanded to be buried with his fortune is true or not, there’s no getting away from the smart solution that his widow apparently dreamed up.