In an incident marked by extraordinary theatrics, a man successfully executed an elaborate prank that involved simulating his own death and making a grand entrance at his supposed funeral by disembarking from a helicopter rather than emerging from a hearse.
David Baerten, a widely recognized personality on TikTok, conspired with his wife and children to stage this ostensible death, an act designed to jest with acquaintances and discern who genuinely harbored concern for the 45-year-old.
In order to circulate the news of Baerten’s “death”, his child resorted to social media, penning a heartfelt tribute to her father. “Rest in peace, Daddy. I will never stop thinking about you,” the daughter penned, as reported by news outlets. She further questioned the perceived injustice of life and affirmed her enduring affection for her purportedly deceased father.
The simulated funeral was orchestrated near the city of Liege the previous weekend. It was attended by a multitude of friends and family, all donned in black and awaiting the commencement of the ceremony, which was eventually disrupted by the landing of a helicopter.
Accompanied by a camera crew, the “deceased” alighted from the helicopter and greeted his mourners with the proclamation, “Cheers to you all, welcome to my funeral,” as referenced by the Times.
The reaction to Baerten’s “resurrection” was varied, with some attendees rushing across a field to embrace him upon landing. Others, however, remained in the parking lot, seemingly perplexed by the unfolding spectacle.
A handful of the attendees expressed dissatisfaction with Baerten, compelling the TikToker to justify his actions. He indicated that he staged this event due to his discontent with the way his family and friends had been treating him. “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 confessed. He continued by asserting his desire to impart a life lesson, advocating for the importance of cherishing relationships during life, not just in death.
With nearly 165,000 followers on TikTok, Baerten claims that the incident has prompted an increase in outreach from his loved ones, validating his belief about who genuinely cares for him. He commented, “Those who didn’t come did contact me to meet up. So in a way, I did win.”
While Baerten has not yet released comprehensive footage of the event, another TikTok user captured the landing of the helicopter and the tearful embrace of Baerten with one “mourner”. “You had us we love you my friend we are happy that you are among us,” Thomas Faut captioned one of the videos shared on his TikTok account, el.tiktokeur2.