"Rent-A-Mourner" Supplies Professional Grievers For A Price

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CBS/AP)-- Funerals are usually emotional events. But if you're worried that it won't have enough sad faces, there's a company that will help you make it sadder.

The U.K.-based "Rent A Mourner" allows family members of the recently deceased to make sure their loved ones part ways in a packed house. For about $68 a person, "discrete" and "professional" grievers will offer two hours of crying, CBS affiliate WWJ reports.

"We are typically invited to help increase visitors to funerals where there may be a low turnout expected," the firm states on its website. "This can usually be a popularity issue or being new to an area, or indeed, the country."

Steven Kemp of Haley Funeral Directors in Michigan said it's not a common practice in the U.S., but he has heard of families renting mourners in parts of the south. He told WWJ Newsradio 950 he doesn't see a problem with it.

"If the families want that done, then I mean that's certainly incumbent upon them and what they want," Kent said. "Our business is in serving their needs and wants, and at least in my practice, that's what I try to do. I try to please what they do as long as it's not dangerous to my staff and the building."

He said the concept of hired mourners is no more unconventional than the funeral practices he's seen - such as animal sacrifice or the burning of money.


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