When Mélanie walked into a room filled with people wearing black, she didn’t appear to know what was going on. But then she saw her father step out from the crowd, and she realized that something was up. What happened next, though, brought her to tears – and made her think twice about a dangerous habit of hers.
With more than nine million views, this video is clearly something very special. But it’s certainly not your typical viral sensation. It doesn’t, for instance, feature bloggers playing tricks on one another or an elaborate proposal. There’s a darker edge to this YouTube video, too, and it’s truly haunting.
The footage begins with a montage of clips showing various people walking into a building alone. Indeed, the viewer sees Kim, Mélanie, Grégory, Olivier and Brice arriving separately at the location. The captions suggest that they are each expecting to meet a friend there.
However, each person will soon find out that they won’t be going to the meeting that they had anticipated. In reality, they have each been summoned to this location for an altogether different reason than a casual get-together. And it will prove to be an uncomfortable experience.
That’s because, upon arrival, each person finds themselves separately being ushered into a room with rows of people seated. It quickly becomes clear that they’ve stumbled upon some sort of a funeral gathering. And before they know it, they’ve taken their seats for the service.
But it’s only when the speakers take the stand that the unsuspecting guests begin to understand what’s going on. At first, they each look a little baffled by the situation. Indeed, they seem unsure as to why they have been invited. But then the pieces of the puzzle come together.
“She had barely started her life on Earth,” reads the funeral officiant to a room full of emotional guests – and Mélanie. “Death may be difficult to accept, but it’s a part of life after all. Let’s take a moment to reflect on this.” Then he invites some people to join him on stage.
“Some close friends and family will now say a word,” he adds. It’s at that moment that Mélanie spots something. Yes, a very close relation of hers stands up and walks to the podium.
She takes a sharp breath when she sees her father approach the stage. It looks to be an emotional moment for him, too. Then he begins to address the funeral gathering. “It was the night of October 21,” he says, fighting back his tears.
“The telephone rang,” he continues. “But it wasn’t you. It was the police.” Mélanie can’t contain her emotion; she seems to know where this is going. Her father now begins to cry. “My darling child. I want to be strong,” he chokes. “But how is that possible?”
Next, he says something that appears to make the whole thing clear to Mélanie. He says, “I am a father who is burying his daughter.” And in that instant, she understands that she has been invited to her own funeral. Moreover, her family hope that it will teach her a lesson she will never forget.
Mélanie bursts into tears when she hears her father’s heartbreaking words. And it is no different for the others who have also been invited to their own funerals. Indeed, the video footage shows snippets of each person’s fake funeral service, complete with their own tearful friends and family members.
It transpired that each person who was tricked into attending a funeral that day shared a common habit. It was a behavior that could one day result in their actual funerals rather than just pretend versions. You see, their family and friends wanted to teach these people a lesson about their tendency to speed while driving.
And inviting them to their own funeral was possibly the most hard-hitting way that their loved ones could do so. In the video, for instance, Brice has to listen to his mother and another family member give a tear-jerking speech about his speeding habit. “You fooled around on the road again and it was one time too many,” they say.
Then his mom takes the opportunity to speak to him directly, while she still has the chance to. As she struggles to stifle her tears, she says to Brice, who is watching from the congregation, “Please listen to me. Slow down. Don’t leave me son. I love you.”
Kim’s loved one also takes the chance to make a plea. “Kim, this time I can still ask you,” she says. “Please be careful while you are driving. I don’t want to lose you.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, at the end of the emotional speech, both women are in tears.
The video ends with tearful hugs between the speeding drivers and their loved ones, making for an incredibly emotional piece of film. Interestingly, the video was created by a Belgian agency commissioned to send a powerful message to the public.
And there seems to be no doubt that they delivered on the brief. Coupled with the slogan, “Went too fast. Gone too soon,” the video’s message went straight to the heart of the issue – and tugged on the heartstrings of millions around the world in the process.
Originally released in 2014, the video encouraged viewers to share its message with anyone they didn’t want to lose through speeding. Understandably, it didn’t take long before the footage went viral. It may be difficult to watch, but it’s likely to make viewers think twice about driving too fast.
Some people have since argued that the campaign took it “too far” with this heartbreaking video. But others are of the opinion that those with dangerous speeding habits should be shocked into changing their ways. In any case, it’s certainly a conversation starter.