Joni Bakaradze died 18 years ago, at the age of 22, but instead of burying him in a cemetery, his family decided to keep his body preserved so that his son, who was just two at the time of his death, could see his father’s face.
For the first four years after Joni died, his mother, Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia, used embalming fluid to preserve his body, but after having a dream on night in which someone told her to use vodka instead, the woman from Bashi village, Georgia, switched to spirit liquid poultices. She has to use them every night, or the corpse will turn black. During the first ten years, Tsiuri changed her dead son’s clothes on his birthdays, but as she got older her illnesses prevented her from taking care of Joni the way she used too. She says the lack of care quickly becomes visible on his body, but as soon as she uses her alcohol-based embalming formula, his face turns white again.
Asked why they didn’t just bury Joni as is customary, Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia told reporters from Georgia News that it was her husband’s idea, so that their grandson might get the chance to see his father’s face and “what kind of father he had had”. Tsiuri says the boy, now aged 20, has already seen his father’s preserved body and believes his grandfather made the right decision. Bakaradze’s body is being kept in a wooden coffin fitted with a viewing window in the lid.
Pretty creepy story, but definitely not as creepy as the one of the Vietnamese grieving widower who dug up his wife’s body, wrapped in clay mold and paper, and continued to sleep next to it for years.