Yesterday on a friend’s Facebook page was an article discussing the proliferation of selfies, even at funerals. This one written by a funeral director was actually defending the practice which I find totally vulgar.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against selifes or even photographs being taken at a funeral particularly as they often bring together family and friends who haven’t seen each other in years, perhaps decades. So it’s good to document the occasion. But selfies at a funeral, especially with the dead person in view are just inappropriate and shouldn’t be taken never mind being shared on social media.
This opinion is based on my own experience of seeing death unravel up-close. Specifically, it’s been nearly 20 years since my mother died and I don’t need a narcissistic photograph to remind me of her. Etched deep in my memory are visuals of her time at the hospital, at the hospice, holding her hand as she gasped her last breathe, her being taken away in a black body bag and eventually in her coffin. And while the make-up artist at the funeral home did a fabulous job, her face in that coffin is not how I want to remember her and I know for a fact it is not how she would have wanted the world to see her.
Thus what I prefer to look at are images of her through the years, in happier times. These are what I share on social media on the anniversary of her death and birthday. These are what people should be sharing of their loved ones when they pass on. These are more respectful of the dead. Not tacky tasteless photos that are of the moment and totally self-indulgent.