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Old 07-16-2013, 08:38 AM
Location: Ft. Myers
15,569 posts, read 9,650,106 times
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Whew, this one gave me chills ! I can't imagine anyone wanting a picture like that. I prefer to remember loved ones in happier times, not laying in a casket.

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Old 07-16-2013, 09:00 AM
5,321 posts, read 7,658,806 times
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People don't even look like themselves when they are lying in a casket. Why would you even want a picture?
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:04 AM
11,686 posts, read 13,078,672 times
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This was a not uncommon custom in the 19th century, but as far as I know it was largely defunct in the 20th century, except among older members of some ethnic groups.

When my neighbor's husband collapsed and died (1950's) with no previous history of heart problems his wife was in her late thirties with a young grade school son. Her in-laws-laws were on the whole ten or more years older. She had his picture taken, and she had a framed copy in her living room along with other family pictures.

As far as other people suggesting it to me in this era, it seems so over-the-top that I am afraid I might laugh at the person, but I cannot imagine having the hostile feelings that some people seem to have had. If this was the dumbest or the worst thing that people did it would be a paradise of a world....be grateful that some folks are just wonky, and not psycho.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:11 AM
62 posts, read 65,649 times
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When my uncle passed away, I was ten. I remember being at the funeral home, standing near his open coffin, when a woman whom I did not recognize (but I'm sure knew him) started taking pictures of his body in the coffin. I felt bothered and confused about why she would ever do this.

Last month, in his blog, a friend wrote about memories of his sister and her death at age 3. He had been about seven at the time. Anyway, he included several photos of her, the final photo was one of her body in her coffin. I didn't really know how to react.

I've seen several post-mortem photos from the Victorian era, mostly of children. While I do find these photos from that era to be eerie, there's also something touching about them. Photos were much rarer at that time in history, and one can see what love the parents had with the efforts they put forth in having these pictures taken. Often the whole family would pose along with the deceased family member. Perhaps they didn't have many, if any, other photos of their loved one.

Photos of the deceased people in the current era would seem like an entirely different situation.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:35 AM
16,724 posts, read 13,670,338 times
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When my husband's grandmother passed away, we drove all the way to Corpus Christi for the funeral (and subsequent impromptu family reunion).

Well the core family was all up at the funeral home while the rest of us were at the house and I was summoned to the funeral home and told to bring my camera.

I'm a photographer so I always have my gear (and I figured everybody would want photos of each other at the reunion).

So I figure the core family wants some pictures next to the flowers and such, I've seen this done before. Anyway I go into the viewing room and they were waiting for me, they had a ladder propped up next to the casket and they had all their little possessions and memorial what-nots on the body. They wanted me to climb to the top of the ladder and take pictures straight down into the casket so they could use the photos as head shots. I did what they asked, it didn't bother me, but I found it quite strange.

I said the same thing you all have said here, "Wouldn't you rather remember her when she was alive?" Evidently she'd been very sick and had lost a lot of weight at the end, and the makeup job was wonderful, fattened her face up, enough so that they thought she looked beautiful.

That said, you know how after funerals everyone always winds up at someone's house and they catch up with long-lost family members and say we should do this again, but not at a funeral, and then they never do?

Well, I've started taking pictures at these get-togethers and I've found people really appreciate it. At first they seem taken aback, but when I say, "Look, when is the next time you are REALLY going to see this person? Everybody is here, right now, let's take advantage of it." Of course I'm usually a close friend or family member and I always ask for permission from the core family. I've never had anyone turn me down, in fact, they usually say, "Why didn't I think of that!"

Just something to think about. I know it seems morbid but it's nice to have those photos before the next one dies off.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:21 AM
Location: SWFL
21,431 posts, read 18,144,759 times
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Wow, I am starting to have a hard time reading this thread!

That's exactly what all the cousins would say at whatever funeral we were attending and that's when we would all see each other again...the next funeral.

Sorry but in MO picture taking at a funeral is just plain tacky no matter what spin you put on it. I'm so glad I have never had to observe that in my lifetime. JMHO.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:38 PM
Location: Atlanta, GA
100 posts, read 94,382 times
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I took a picture of my grandmother in her casket. I must get it from my Aunt she snaps a few pics at alot of the funerals she goes too. We always chalked it up to her being more of a scientific person (she's a doctor).
I don't really know why I did and whenever I stumble upon the picture I ask myself why did I do that. Funny thing is that even with that picture that's not how I remember her. The funeral home did a really good job with her hair and makeup. I keep the picture put away in her "memory box" that I keep.
Watch out around my Aunt because one moment you will see vacation photos then maybe a picture of a new cousin and then a random funeral pic..
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:42 PM
Location: Sunshine N'Blue Skies
13,320 posts, read 19,659,786 times
Reputation: 11644
Originally Posted by missik999 View Post
I was very shocked to open the newspaper and see a photo of a stillborn baby on the obituary page. The baby was dressed and wrapped in a baby blanket.

All of my coworkers were talking about it after they saw it, none of us had ever seen a stillborn baby photo in the obits before.
I had a stillborn baby and would have never done that. It was sad enough. My husband was in the Army and away so my parents took care of everything. Quietly...that was the best way to go during that tragic time.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:28 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,847 posts, read 12,473,150 times
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In the old days, you might not have many pictures of someone you loved. Perhaps the last photo you had of him or her was a decade ago. Or perhaps you had a few candids shot on a family member's Brownie. So you wanted a pic of him or her after he died. With infants, there was no pic. So, the family would dress the baby and have a photo taken. I assume these photos gave comfort to the bereaved. Perhaps having the photo because a sort of sign of respect, and perhaps some older folk still want this done, because it used to be done.

I don't know what to say about a stillborn child in a newspaper obit. I am frankly shocked that the paper would publish it. We don't like to view the dead nowadays. We find viewing the dead to be shocking and traumatic. Times have changed.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:23 PM
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
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The Greeks commonly take such pictures and display them with candles in prominent place in home. Lots of tradito creepy to you if not use to them.
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