Relatives and friends of Irishman Shay Bradley were bidding their farewells during his funeral on Saturday, when they were startled to hear what sounded like knocks on the inside of his coffin.
“Hello? Hello! Hello? Let me out! Where am I?” they heard the 63-year-old’s voice say. “Let me out, it’s dark in here. Let me out. I can hear you! Is that the priest I can hear?”
It turned out to be a recording, eliciting an eruption of laughter at the prank the deceased man had played on his loved ones on his final journey.
Bradley, a father of four, grandfather of eight and a veteran of Ireland’s military, died after a three-year battle with cancer, local media reported.
Dublin man Shay Bradley made his loved ones laugh one last time. This video from his funeral is just wonderful. pic.twitter.com/68cXibVgaJ
— Darren Cleary (@RadioCleary) October 14, 2019
He organized the prank with his son, Jonathan, before he died. His goal was to make sure his wife left the cemetery laughing.
“He was an absolutely incredible man,” his daughter Andrea told the Independent.ie news site. “And knowing how much this video has made so many people laugh gives us all great comfort and happiness in our darkest days. It’s truly brightened all our hearts.
“This message was his way to both say goodbye, and to let us know, ‘right, the sadness of today is over, go and celebrate the life I lived in a joyous way,'” she said of the Dublin resident.
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) October 15, 2019
“He told my brother Jonathan, who recorded the audio with him, that one of the main reasons he done this was because he wanted to make sure my mom would be laughing leaving the cemetery, not crying. And he done just that,” she said.
“My uncle spoke to the priest afterwards, the priest just said he has done many funerals but has never seen anything like it.”