A Belgian father tried to teach his family a lesson by faking his death and arriving by helicopter at his own funeral.
David Baerten, self-identified as the 45-year-old Belgian father who is seen arriving by helicopter at his own funeral in video footage reported by The Mirror, attempted to convince his family that he was dead in an effort to teach his family the importance of staying in contact with people before they die.
“What I see in my family often hurts me, I never get invited to anything. Nobody sees me. We all grew apart. I felt unappreciated,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to give them a life lesson and show them that you shouldn’t wait until someone is dead to meet up with them.”
In a TikTok video, Baerten can be seen with a camera crew arriving in a helicopter and greeting people at his funeral. According to The Times UK, Baerten greeted his family, saying, “Cheers to you all, welcome to my funeral.”
While Baerten has yet to release the full video of his arrival and the shock of his family and friends at the funeral, he explained that he has been working on “this project” for more than a year and plans to one day make a film about the event.
“I organized this ‘life lesson’ hoax that was also filmed by a team of cameramen,” he said. “The people who filmed me helped to create a worldwide buzz and this will be used to promote my report, which will also create a buzz and promote my future films if I find a producer.”
According to The Times, Baerten’s wife and children helped him organize his fake death and funeral.
“Rest in peace, Daddy. I will never stop thinking about you,” Baerten’s daughter reportedly wrote prior to the fake funeral. “Why is life so unfair? Why you? You were going to be a grandfather, and you still had your whole life ahead of you. I love you! We love you! We will never forget you.”
According to the New York Post, Baerten shared that some of his friends and family members have reached out to him in the aftermath of the prank. Baerten said the fake funeral “proves who really cares about me,” adding that even many of the people who did not show up at the fake funeral have reached out to him offering to meet up with him in the future. “In a way, I did win,” he said.