When Joni Bakaradze died at the age of 22, his still living mother grieved… but instead of burying her son, she resorted to an at-home vodka-based mummification to ensure he was always nearby.
Joni Bakaradze has been dead for nearly as long as he was alive at this point, having passed 18 years ago. His cause of death isn’t precisely clear, but Bakaradze was a young father and husband when he died at such an early age.
It was this, mother Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia says, that prompted her to keep her son’s remains above ground in the house, working to preserve their integrity so her grandson could “see what kind of father he had.”
While you may not find her actions very healthy, it’s hard not to sympathize with Tsiuri’s dedication to caring for her son’s corpse.
Ultimately, she says, when her first permanent embalming attempts failed, she was inspired in her sleep to try vodka — she explains:
“One night I had a dream when a voice told me to treat Joni using by rubbing alcohol so from then on I’ve being using wet sheets dipped in alcohol to preserve the body… You must not leave the body without the sheets overnight as the skin will turn black as charcoal.”
Bakaradze has been tended to by his mom regularly since his death, even getting a yearly costume change for most of his mummification — his mother says:
“For 10 years I’ve been changing his clothes on his birthday. Only the past four years I was unable to do so.”
“He was a good man, a good husband, not the way he is now… I was sick lately and could not tend to his body, that had an effect on him… My son is handsome. When I use the sheets his skin will be white again and everything will be normal.”
It is likely due to the recent decomposition that images of Koni Bakaradze’s mummy were not provided.