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Teen hops out of coffin at prom

High school teen Megan Flaherty in Pennsauken Township, N.J. arrived to her junior prom on Saturday, May 6, 2017 in a hearse and coffin, successfully astonishing her classmates and neighbors.

Flaherty, 17, arrived to prom in a hearse driven by family friend Dennis McGee, who also slid the open prop coffin, which she was laying in, out of the vehicle. Her date, Stephen Caldwell, also arrived in the hearse, albeit not in his own coffin.

“I made sure my prom date was okay with it,” she said.

The motivation behind Flaherty’s unusual arrival is her aspiration to become a funeral director after high school. She plans to attend Mercer County Community College’s funeral service program. Flaherty has hoped to gain experience working in the funeral service industry from McGee.

Her mother, Susan Flaherty, appreciated her creative entrance and supports her daughter’s choice regarding her future.

“She just really took to it. She thought it was an honorable thing and an honorable way to make a living,” said Mrs. Flaherty about her daughter’s interest in mortuary service. “It’s not for everyone — death is a touchy thing. Some people are afraid of it, but that is her chosen profession, and she was celebrating what she wanted to do with her life after high school.”

In order to get the arrival just right, Flaherty, McGee, and Caldwell practiced the entrance at home before leaving for the prom.

“I think it’s a cool idea to show up in something extravagant and different . . . I don’t think I would ever do something that intense,” says freshman Julia Fahy, who will be attending prom on May 25.

Although likely the first person to arrive in a coffin, she was not the first to arrive in a hearse. Her older brother started the trend years before by arriving to his prom in a hearse. Flaherty took it a little bit further by arriving in a decorative light-color coffin.

Flaherty admits, “I like being different.”

As she rolled out of the hearse and took the hand of her date, she flashed a big grin to onlookers as they walked in together.

Some of her classmates enjoyed and appreciated the scene, calling her “drop dead gorgeous” and “fresh to death,” as a play on the funeral theme of her entrance.

Others were not as welcoming of her idea, saying it was insensitive and tasteless.

“Personally I would never do something like this, but it’s definitely a unique way to show up to prom!” says junior Brianna Barbarise. “I know death is a sensitive topic and as long as nobody’s night was ruined because her entrance may have triggered something, then I think it’s pretty funny and extremely memorable.”

Flaherty expected this criticism with being aware that some people are uncomfortable with the prospect of death and things that come with it, such as funerals.

“Anything people do these days, people judge it. People have opinions,” she said.

However, she has become more comfortable with it in her experience and interest in funeral service and mortuary work.

Flaherty says in response, “It’s a natural thing of life.”

What do you think about Megan’s entrance? What is the limit for extravagant entrances?

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