WEIRD NEWS

Woman Found Alive 13 Days After Her Funeral

08/23/2013 04:17 pm ET

While just about every culture and religion has a time-honored way of commemorating the dead, what's the protocol for welcoming the buried back to life?

Sharolyn Jackson's family found out this week when the 50-year-old woman was found alive 13 days after her funeral.

According to CBSPhilly KYW, the bizarre saga began earlier this year when Jackson was reported missing from her West Philadelphia home. Authorities found a body that matched her description, and two people, including her son, identified the woman as Jackson.

Jackson "died" on July 20, according to her obituary in The Times of Trenton, and the family held a burial Aug. 3. On Legacy, an online guestbook, one friend comforted the family, saying "Only God has the final call."

Well, if that's true, God's quite a prankster: Last Friday, Jackson was found alive at a mental health facility.

The mix-up came as a surprise since Jackson's son identified the body.

"The gold standard here [for identifying a body] is visual identification by a family member," so the son's identification was taken as fact, Philadelphia Health Department spokesman James Garrow told The Huffington Post.

While the family's trial-run grieving process is over, the over-arching mystery remains: Who is the woman actually buried under Jackson's tombstone?

"Right now we're working internally with the city law department to see about exhuming the body, and we're working with the police department to see if we can identify who this woman is," Garrow said.

This isn't the first time a supposedly dead person has shocked and delighted loved ones. Gilberto Araújo, a Brazilian man, was mistakenly declared dead last year. (The body actually belonged to his co-worker.) He brought an unexpected plot twist to his own wake when he walked in exclaiming, "Guys, I'm alive -- pinch me!"

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