By Steve Hopkins
A father has been slated for faking his own death and putting his family through unnecessary heartache.
He wanted to show them that life is fleeting and thought the best way to do this was by faking his own death.
David Baerton didn’t just fake his own death, he organised the funeral too.
But he wasn’t just curious about who would turn up, the 45-year-old Belgian wanted to remind his family they only get to spend so much time with each other.
And David, who posts videos on TikTok as Ragnar le Fou, was also a bit annoyed about being left out.
He told French chat show Touche Pas a Mon Poste (TPMP) that he orchestrated the stunt because he felt “unappreciated” by some of his relatives.
“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,” David is quoted in media reports as saying.
“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.”
@el.tiktokeur2 Tu nous a eu je te le jure j etais en pleure moi et apres j ai eu le choc poto on t aime beaucoup ❤️@Ragnar_le_fou @Leclercq Philippe #fyp #pourtoii #fypシ ♬ son original – Thomas faut
David enlisted the help of his children to get the grieving underway, with one posting online: “Rest in peace, Daddy. I will never stop thinking about you.
“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.”
Members of the family then showed up to the funeral to pay their respects and were greeted by David, who made a dramatic entrance by helicopter.
As he got out of the helicopter with a camera crew, David told mourners, “cheers to you all, welcome to my funeral”.
A video from the fake funeral, shows relatives rushing to embrace David when they realise he is still alive.
David said the stunt had proved “who really cares about me”, adding: “Those who didn’t come did contact me to meet up. So in a way, I did win.”
During his appearance on TPMP, David admitted he regretted the stunt and revealed his wife had tried to stop him.
Indy100 reports that the prankster allowed his children to believe that he had really died for “a couple of days” before revealing his plants to them.
He told the chat show that his film crew had stipulated they would only document the stunt if he let his children and sister know that he was not really dead.
David insisted that they “half-knew” it was a prank from the beginning.
After seeing the response from his loved ones, David said: “As soon as I started receiving messages from people and videos of them crying, I wished I could cancel the whole thing, but it was too late. I asked myself, ‘What have you done this?’ but it was too late [sic].”