Funeral Selfie Baffles Relative

By Cole, Harriette | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), August 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

Funeral Selfie Baffles Relative


Cole, Harriette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


DEAR HARRIETTE: I attended the recent funeral of a family member, and I saw my cousin walk up to the open casket. She took a "selfie" and began taking photos of the deceased. I felt it was in poor taste on my cousin's part to do such a thing. Am I wrong for thinking that it is not appropriate to take a picture during a funeral service, or is it a touching way to remember the deceased? I need help with this one. -- Do You See Me?, Brooklyn, New York

DEAR DO YOU SEE ME: In this day and age of cellphone cameras and selfies, it is all too common for people to take pictures of themselves everywhere, including at funerals. Does that make it right? No. But again, it is no longer an uncommon occurrence. Taking pictures of deceased loved ones is not a new trend, however. Many people have made the choice to photograph their loved ones in the casket to save for personal reasons.

My recommendation for anyone considering taking pictures at wakes or funerals when the deceased is on view is to operate with the highest level of discretion. People grieve in a variety of ways. It is important to remain sensitive to those around you. To honor the deceased is to keep such picture-taking to a minimum. And for sure, you should not post them on social media. That would be in poor taste.

* * *

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to dinner with longtime friends whose political views are different from mine. I believe in the rule that you should not talk about politics in a public setting. …

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