Image: Zeli Ferreira Rosse and his wife and his wife Cleusa Pereira Rosse
Leonardo Morais  /  AP
Zeli Ferreira Rosse, 61, and his wife Cleusa Pereira Rosse, reenact how Rosse sleeps in a coffin in Minas Gerais, Brazil, on Wednesday Aug. 17. Rossi says he sleeps in the coffin on Fridays to honor a friend who died in 1988.
updated 8/18/2011 5:40:48 PM ET 2011-08-18T21:40:48

Every Friday night for 23 years, Zeli Rossi has traded his bed in Brazil's southeastern state of Minas Gerais for a coffin.

Rossi tells the G1 news website that his weekly sleeping habit became public last month when his 14-year-old grandson wrote a story about him for his school's newspaper.

Rossi says he sleeps in the coffin to honor a deceased friend.

Long ago, the two promised each other that whoever died first would have his casket bought by the other. Rossi's friend bought him a coffin when he mistakenly thought Rossi had died in a 1983 car crash.

When the friend died in 1988, Rossi started sleeping in the coffin to honor his memory.

And he also kept his promise to buy the dead friend a "brand new" casket.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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