While Bill said he learned to work with confidence in his investigative work, the first funeral was “confrontational” when his client then asked him to single out certain members of his family and urge them to leave the church.
“He asked me… if his brother, sister-in-law, nephew and cousin had shown up, he wanted me to tell them in no uncertain terms to go. If they didn’t, I had to forcibly remove them, and if that didn’t work I should take my client’s coffin and go out, ”added Bill.
Bill Edgar is paid in the thousands for his services. Source: Supplied (Bill Edgar).
When asked if the family got angry, he said, “Yes, some got angry … some cursed and told me where to go and others tried to take me away, but the majority of the mourners who were there wanted to know what “your loved one had left unsaid.”
Bill explained that the news spread from there when someone told his aunt what had happened at the first funeral and she contacted her because she wanted the same thing. From there someone reported to her funeral and it went on.
The father of two stated that he is usually asked to interrupt the funeral speech, but he even stopped the priest twice. Although there is no fixed payment for his service, he stated that it would vary on a case-by-case basis and his first amount was $ 10,000. Meanwhile, a woman with only $ 1,500 in her name needed help in her final days, and he was able to grant her wish for $ 500.
While family members may be shocked by some of Bill’s interruptions, he said a church service ended in outrage when he interrupted a cyclist’s funeral to tell loved ones that he was secretly gay.
“He came out gay at his funeral,” said Bill. “He said, ‘No matter what, after all the women I’ve been with, there’s someone in the audience here – you won’t know who he is. He knew what I was doing. ‘
“A couple of the other bikes got pretty excited, but I said to them, ‘Look, you can shoot the messenger, but it’s your buddy who’s in the coffin and that’s what he wants to say’.”
His most memorable job, however, didn’t happen at a funeral. Rather, it was a client’s last wish after being unexpectedly transferred to palliative care.
“He had no way of getting back to his property, and I had to go back and clean up some incredible things!” Bill explained. “There were sex toys and ridiculous things. It was like walking into a sex shop, it was amazing.
“He was ashamed that his family had found out. He said, ‘When my daughters get there and clean up, they will know what I’ve done and what I like’. He had an attic with everything in it. We agreed and I filmed everything I found, took it to a farm that was mine, and burned everything – filmed it – before bringing it back to him to show him. He was very grateful. “
Much of the money Bill makes goes towards travel expenses, as he stated that he has traveled around Australia for jobs in NSW, Melbourne, Cairns and more.
“The biggest problem I’ve found, and now I’ve really come to terms with it, is that at every funeral, the people who live and stay behind are respected, they don’t really respect the dead,” he said.
“They talk about how great they are. You can go to a funeral and sit there and listen to all the BS that you can think of and you think, ‘No, they aren’t,’ but we never get up and say, ‘Hey, that’s what he is or it is was like ‘they were great or bad’. “
Read more: Family feuds and funerals: The tricky task of saying goodbye without a fight
While handling all sorts of confessions and final appeals, Bill stated that he draws the line on suicide or anyone who asks him to assist in any way with death.
“Once an elderly man wanted me to kill his pet too, so that he could be with him,” he recalls. “It’s very sad and very hard to try and say to him, ‘I can’t make this buddy, the best I can try is to make sure they have a comfortable life and are well looked after’.”
He also has strict rules when it comes to someone confessing to a crime, and while he used to let clients admit minor offenses, he tells them from the start that it is his duty to report them if they admit something worse.
“If you want to confess to a crime, you can put it in a sealed envelope that won’t open until you die,” he said. “I actually have an envelope. The lady has not yet died. I haven’t opened it and don’t want to know what’s inside until then. “