Why The ‘Funeral Selfie’ Needs To Stay Dead And Buried

Why The ‘Funeral Selfie’ Needs To Stay Dead And Buried

Funerals are a time to remember loved ones and say a heartfelt goodbye, not draw attention to yourself. Still, some people do exactly that. Just because you’re all dressed up doesn’t mean a #funeralselfie is warranted.

Photo by ambernaeye.

Denis Desrochers, a prominent funeral director from Quebec, talked about the funeral selfie issue on Radio-Canada’s Gravel le Matin. Desrochers explained that he and his colleagues in the industry were having a hard time educating people about proper funeral behaviour, and mentioned funeral selfies as one of the prime examples of poor etiquette.

His main concern is that of the families, who usually don’t want to see those types of photos on social media since they’re a constant reminder of their loss. It’s also a bit disrespectful, as these types of photos are generally in poor taste. If you don’t believe me, check out the now defunct Selfies at Funerals Tumblr.

When Melonyce McAfee at CNN chatted with etiquette expert Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Institute about the issue, she was aghast that people were turning times of mourning into photo shoots. Post explained that most people don’t want their photos taken on those days, in a group setting or otherwise, and that a selfie is definitely inappropriate:

I don’t find it appropriate that you’re making the cute faces and duck lips and hashtagging it #funeral. “‘On-my-way-to-the-funeral-selfie’ Here’s what I wore, don’t I look fantastic?” You know it’s not about you, it’s about the deceased, so can you back down on the selfies for the moment?

Post suggests many of the offenders in these situations are young people – some who have never been to funeral before – and that may explain why it happens to begin with. But since camera tech gets more and more mobile, and social media continues to dominate many people’s lives, this issue should be addressed. Everyone, young and old, need to know that snapping a “#Sad” funeral selfie is flat out selfish.

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As Dr Mark Taubert, a palliative care doctor who specialises in grief and social media, explains to Tech Insider, funeral selfies bring attention to yourself and take it away from the deceased. The point of a funeral is that it’s about the life of the person who died, not, as Taubert puts it, about your “digital update”.

It’s possible that funeral selfies are just part of the modern grieving process in our post-everything-online world, but Taubert suggests there’s a more tasteful way to grieve digitally. Instead of sharing a selfie of you frowning at a funeral, go with a text-only message that expresses your love for the deceased or offers comfort to others.


  • Funeral selfies? Seriously? Some people need a good slap upside the head

    • Agreed.

      I’m somewhat disgusted – but not really that surprised – that this is a ‘thing’.

      Common sense no longer prevails…

  • We really need to be careful how respond to peoples actions at funerals. People deal with grief in different ways. Shaming them because it does not fit in with your definition of grieving is wrong.

    Ive been to funerals where everyone was happy and the service was aimed to be like that because the person who died instructed their funeral to be like that. They didnt want a sad occasion, They wanted their life to be celebrated, Not mourned.

    Unless its a funeral on someone close to you or of a family member. You really have no right to judge nor demand.

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