Funeral Etiquette: Is it okay to share funeral pictures on Facebook?

This funeral is making waves on social media:

Mom Shares Photo of Her Husband’s Open Casket to Show the Realities of Drug Abuse

Funeral etiquette varies from place to place, from culture to culture, and it even varies within the sects of individual religions. Funeral etiquette can change rapidly too. Just within the last century professional embalming has changed the entire funeral process. In our media focused culture, it isn’t surprising that someone would post funeral pictures on social media. What is shocking about this photo is the smiling faces on herself and the children. That’s what offends people.

According to the article Eva Holland in Ohio says she is trying to make a statement about the realities of drug addiction. She shared a photo of herself and her children beside her husband’s open casket, smiling. Since she posted the pic it has been shared more than 250,000 times as of 9/16/2015. Some viewers have commented that she is brave for posting it. Others are upset at the idea.

I do think this is an awkward memory to make and share, your smiling face at a family member’s casket. It does lead to the idea that you’re happy he’s passed away. I’m sure someone out there is going to make a snarky comment about insurance money. And I’m not entirely sure the grinning faces do anything for her message that addiction leads to tragedy. There’s nothing tragic looking about the pic. They look pretty happy.

While this instance is a little off-putting I don’t think there’s anything wrong with funeral photos on social media. Assuming the pics are tasteful and respectful. But that leads to the question, would you want a picture of your deceased self floating around social media? Personally, if the embalmer did a good job and I look gorgeous, I don’t think I’d mind. But please no smiling.

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2 thoughts on “Funeral Etiquette: Is it okay to share funeral pictures on Facebook?

  1. Hi, I am a funeral celebrant from Scotland. It would be really really strange to take pictures at a funeral. Perhaps later on after the formal service but I have never seen it before or after the formal service. Is it common elsewhere? Do people take family photos or is it more likely to be the odd selfie?

    Liked by 1 person

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