Taking pictures of a casket

Funerals are one of the saddest events to attend. They sometimes come unexpectedly and are filled with different moods of reflection, loss and remembrances. Funerals and wakes bring family and friends together to reminiscence about an individual’s life. Perhaps to some it’s unexplainable to describe the pain that they are feeling, but attending an open-casket funeral is something many will never forget. And many will never forget it if there’s flash photography at the wake.

Everyone knows the intensity of social media and how powerful it can be, but there should be a limit to publicizing an open casket picture. In the instance of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy who was lynched by racist white men; a crime was committed. It was his mother’s choice to have an open-casket so that the world could see the injuries and conditions of his body was making a Civil Rights statement. She wanted the publications and photographs, but that’s not the case for most funerals.

However, now a family member might pass away and the first thing you see at the wake is a sea of flashes coming from Androids and iPhones so they could publish their new Instagram post. Those moments are precious and deciding to take a picture at the moment could be highly inappropriate and offensive to the family.

Not every moment is a Kodak moment. Surely enough, you’d like to have last image of the person, but it’s best to remember your loved ones while they were living. After the eulogy has been delivered, glance at everyone in the room and you’ll see their emotions and realize there’s a time and place for photographs. Attending a funeral is an unforgettable experience that will be engraved in your mind. Be mindful of the environment, be in the moment and put the phone down. Instagram can wait.

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