Man Fakes Death To Teach Family A Lesson, Shows Up At Funeral In Helicopter

By Jason Hall

June 14, 2023

Close up of female hand on coffin
Photo: Getty Images

A Belgian man who faked his death in order to teach his family a lesson arrived at his own funeral in a helicopter.

TikTok user David Baerten, 45, along with his wife and children, orchestrated a prank to see who actually cared about him after news of his "death" was shared on social media.

“Rest in peace, Daddy. I will never stop thinking about you,” his daughter wrote online, according to the Times UK.“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.”

A TikTok shared by Thomas Faut, who was in attendance for Baerten's fake funeral in the city of Liege over the weekend, shows the helicopter landing in a field before Baerten exits the aircraft with a camera crew and is greeted by attendees.

@el.tiktokeur2

Tu nous as eu on t aime mon ami on est content que tu es parmis nous ❤️❤️#pourtoii #fyp #fypシ @Ragnar_le_fou

♬ son original - Thomas faut

"You had us we love you my friend we are happy that you are among us," Faut wrote in a translated caption.

Baerten is reported to have said, "Cheers to you all, welcome to my funeral," according to the Times UK. While many attendees were relieved to see Baerten was actually alive, some were less enthusiastic about his prank, which led to him explaining the motivation.

“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,” Baerten said via the New York Post. “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.”

Baerten, who has nearly 165,000 TikTok followers, said several loved ones have since reached out to him, which gave validation that the prank proved "who really cares about me."

"Those who didn't come did contact me to meet up. So in a way, I did win," he added.

Baerten has yet to release the full video of his prank as of Wednesday (June 14) morning.

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