On the day of my father’s funeral, my gran insisted that I ‘see him’ and she lead me to his coffin. The image will forever be in my mind. I remember touching his forehead and he was ice, ice cold. It was weird but now that I’m older, I can appreciate that I saw my father one last time before he was “really gone”.

Over the years many celebrities such as Elvis Presley, James Brown (main pic) and Whitney Houston have had open casket funerals – not just for their families but, sometimes also for their fans.

Whitney Houston had a ‘private viewing / wake’. She was buried in a golden casket, in her favourite purple dress and jewellery worth an estimated $500,000! The National Enquirer managed to get its hands on photos of Whitney’s private wake and published a photo of her in her casket on the cover of their magazine. Many people were highly offended by this move but it didn’t stop people from buying the magazine to see the images. Curiosity is a strange thing.

Here are some more celebrities who’ve had open casket funerals …

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Etta James 

Mourners pass by the casket for the final viewing during the Homegoing Celebration Service at the funeral for legend Etta James at the City of Refuge Church in Garden on January 28, 2012. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Mourners pass by the casket for the final viewing during the Homegoing Celebration Service at the funeral for legend Etta James at the City of Refuge Church in Garden on January 28, 2012. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)