Manners Matter: Funeral Photos

Dear Mary Pat,

My favorite uncle passed away a few weeks ago. As was expected, a lot of family and friends got together to celebrate his life. Despite the sadness of the occasion, it was nice to catch up with some relatives that we don’t get to see that often.

Fast forward to last night when I was scrolling through Facebook and pictures posted by my sister-in-law stopped me in my tracks. There were several candid shots taken at the funeral home…with my uncle’s casket in the background. It was a closed casket, but still. I thought it was disrespectful and tacky. What in the world would make my sister-in-law think it’s ok to take pictures in the first place or that anyone would want to see them? It’s her family by marriage so it is really presumptuous in that respect, not to mention then sharing the photos with the entire world. I know my aunt would be upset if she saw them. Is it overstepping to ask her to take them down?


Can’t Believe My Eyes

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.


Dear Can’t Believe My Eyes,

I don’t think it’s overstepping. You can call her and politely ask her to take the pictures down from her account. Hopefully it will end there. If not, give your brother a call and tell him your concern about your aunt seeing the pictures. It was a funeral, not a high school reunion. People were coming to pay respects to your uncle’s family and were most likely emotional, vulnerable, and not expecting to be photographed.

It’s alright to photograph a plate of food, a cat playing the piano, your dog in a Halloween costume, but it’s never alright to take photos at a funeral.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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