Phoning From Heaven


Irish People increasing take a mobile phone to the grave with them

Next time you dial a wrong number in Ireland, it may be a little creepy to think about where the phone is ringing. Apparently, it’s becoming a common practice in Eire to bury people with their cell phones.

In past decades, families often tucked photos of the kids, favorite jewelry or even a bottle of whiskey into a loved one’s coffin before sending them on to the next world. Now, cell phones have supplanted these old-world possessions, not just because they’re a big part of people’s lives, but because they’re seen as insurance against someone waking up after burial and not being able to phone home.

While it’s basically impossible for anyone to come back to life after they’re embalmed, Irish funeral directors report that some people insist that the cell phone be turned off before burial, so battery power will be available if needed for a call later. Some families simply make sure the phone is set to silent or vibrate alert, to avoid a ring coming from the coffin during a funeral service. Oddly, some funeral directors feel compelled to tell families that it makes little sense to bury a phone with someone if they are cremated.

One Irish undertaker called the whole idea of calling from the grave a “new urban legend." No one, it seems, has yet raised the possibility that a buried person might get a “no service available here" message while trying to place a rescue call.