Raleigh funeral home offers offbeat humor

RALEIGH -- When you head inside the City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremations on Green Road in north Raleigh, it's clear immediately that it's not a typical funeral parlor.

The business offers more than the usual funeral arrangements. It has a gift shop with T-shirts, autopsy board games, hearse Christmas ornaments, "death mints", and a coffin wine holder.

One T-shirt features the words: "Mom and dad went to grandma's funeral today and all they brought me back was this T-shirt."

Edward Kosmos started the funeral home about three years ago and it does funerals all over the state.

"A lot of people said I should not do it," he said. "You should never do that in a funeral home. A funeral home should be a somber place."

But Kosmos wanted people to feel comfortable even in a funeral home talking about death.

"We're just trying to give somebody 5-10 minutes to forget about all the difficult things they're going through. Most people will smile and most people will get through this," he explained.

Kosmos also sells Sanka coffee can urns and if you don't want to buy anything, you can hang out on the coffin couch.

"This is pretty popular in our funeral home. Most people come down and take pics of themselves. This is like the selfie couch," Kosmos explained.

And is it appropriate?

"I do feel bad when somebody has lost a child, when somebody is lost in an accident, and sometimes I look up there and think, 'I wish I could take 30 seconds to take all this down', but it doesn't work," said Kosmos.

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