If you showed up for the funeral of David Baerten, you would have had a rude awakening when Baerten also showed up among the guests.

The New York Post reports that Baerten, 45, who is from Belgium, faked his own death and funeral just so that he could teach his extended family a lesson about staying in touch.

His explanation for the prank? He said, “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. 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.”

His grand entrance (by helicopter with a camera crew) and subsequent presence at the funeral got mixed reviews. Some family members embraced him with relief. Others were confused and weren’t so quick to forgive him.

Baerten arrived before the funeral could begin, hopping out of the copter saying, “Cheers to you all, welcome to my funeral.”

His fake funeral included dozens of family members and friends. I wonder if they’ll go to his next one? At least he let his wife and kids in on the prank so there’s that.

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I’ve seen this “show” before – a long time ago on “Little House on the Prairie” in an episode called “If I Should Wake Before I Die” where an elderly widow fakes her death with the help of the Ingalls family and the town doctor in order to get her three children (and grandchildren) to come to her wake, including her son who had been away a long time in a war and who she had believed to be dead.

A fake death also happened recently on the “Young and the Restless” when Phyllis Summers faked her death because her kids were treating her like crap and she wanted revenge on her old and current enemy, Diane Jenkins. Although most of the townsfolk in Genoa City know she’s alive, she’s still in hiding after killing someone while she was “dead.”

I did a Google search on the phrase “fakes death” and got 83,300 results.

I even found a squirrel who faked his own death after getting in trouble for knocking over a broom.