The day after Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor died she was supposed to be buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in California ... but, the late actress was nowhere to be found!

How is that possible?  According to Taylor's publicist, it was one of her last requests!

According to Premiere, Publicist Sally Morrison said Taylor left instructions to start the funeral late, explaining, "She even wanted to be late for her own funeral."

The private Jewish ceremony, attended by family and friends, began with actor Colin Farrell reciting a poem called "The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo."

Elizabeth Taylor, 79, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday.