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How to act at a funeral

How to act at a funeral

Funeral etiquette is a set of etiquette guidelines which pertains specifically to funerals and other burial rituals. It is important to remember that funeral etiquette varies between cultures and religions, and no set of rules can govern how to behave at every single funeral around the world. For people who are attending a funeral for someone who comes from a different cultural or religious background, it is appropriate to ask for advice about how to behave from someone who is knowledgeable.

Most rules of funeral etiquette are simply common sense. Attendees at a funeral, wake, memorial, or any ceremony being held to honor the life of someone who has died are expected to dress somberly and simply, to behave respectfully, and to greet the mourners. A traditional greeting includes a brief expression of sympathy. Sending flowers and cards to mourners is also traditional.

Some rules of funeral etiquette surround behavior in specific situations. If a family holds a wake or visiting hours at their home, people are expected to drop by briefly to express sympathies and perhaps share a memory of the deceased, and bringing a gift of food is commonplace in many cultures, so that the family does not have to cook. People are expected to speak in low voices during visiting hours, and to listen attentively when others are speaking.

At a funeral, attendees remain silent unless they are called upon to speak or sing with the rest of the congregation. People who are invited to serve as a pallbearer or give a eulogy may be given additional directions by the officiant. Young children may be permitted, as long as they can remain quiet for the ceremony.

Close friends of the mourners may offer additional assistance under the rules of funeral etiquette, such as volunteering to help at the ceremony, or assisting with organization, picking up relatives, driving people to the funeral, and so forth. Assistance should not be offered unless the offer is genuine, and people should be aware that their offers may be politely refused.

The bereaved are also expected to comply with certain etiquette rules. It is traditional to send thank you notes to people who have sent cards, flowers, and other gifts, and to people who assisted with the funeral, including the officiant, staff of the funeral home, and so forth. At visiting hours, it is polite to greet the guests and express appreciation for their visit, although the bereaved are not expected to act in the capacity of hosts.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

This article on funeral etiquette is provided by Everplans — The web’s leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

How to act at a funeral

Funerals are emotionally complex, and knowing how to act can present a challenge, or at least be confusing. Issues such as what to wear, where to sit, and how long to stay can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re grieving. Knowing the etiquette guidelines around funerals can help you feel more comfortable at the service.

Traditional Funeral Features

A funeral service generally begins with the body being brought in by pallbearers. During the service, people may say prayers, deliver eulogies, read passages from scripture or literature, or sing songs. At the end of the service, the body will be removed to a hearse by the pallbearers and brought to the cemetery for interment. In the case of cremation, the body will be removed to a crematory for cremation.

In the case of burial, there may also be a graveside service after the funeral, which all guests may be invited to attend.

Funeral Etiquette

While issues of funeral etiquette may feel very serious or stressful, it’s important to remember that your job, as a funeral attendee, is to support and console those grieving, and to participate in the communal grieving that’s taking place.

In light of this, the general advice for how to act at a funeral or memorial service is to be respectful, courteous, and generous to others. Remember that the simple presence of a friend, a hug, or a kind word can go a long way towards making someone feel comforted.

How to act at a funeralIt’s never easy dealing with loss. A common inclination of friends and family of those who are grieving, especially at funerals, is to try to comfort a person by telling them their own experiences, saying “I understand” and stating what you believe God wants.

Here’s the thing: You should not say ANY of this.

Here are three acceptable things you can say at a funeral:

1. “I’m sorry for your loss”
2. “I’m there if you need me”
3. “You’re in my thoughts” or “I’m praying for you”

It may seem unnatural to limit conversation this much. However, people who have recently experienced loss are going through a hard enough time. There is no need to bother them by saying something like “God must think you are strong to give you this burden” or “I understand what you’re going through, my dog died last year.”

Other things you should avoid saying include:

  • “It’s probably for the best.”
  • “God must have wanted them home.”
  • “Don’t question God’s plan.”

Saying any of these things can end up clouding an already stormy mind.

We understand that people have good motives when saying these things. It is natural to want to help loved ones out during hard times; it is purely out of ignorance and inexperience that we end up saying the wrong words at the wrong time.

You may think it is easy to remember not to say any of these things, but people often feel awkward around silence and try to fill the gaps by saying the first thing that pops into their mind. Avoid this. Be strong. Your presence alone is great support for your loved one; don’t ruin it by saying something that may end up hurting their feelings during a tough time.

Support after the funeral

After you have supported your friend or family member at the funeral, continue to be the same great, loving friend you always have been. Check back in with them after a week or two when everyone else has gone back to their normal lives, as this is often one of the hardest times for someone who has experienced recent loss. The funeral is over, the crowds are gone and it is usually the time when they feel most alone.

Simply being present and there for moral support will go a long way toward helping them feel at ease. Picturing a world without a deceased loved one is difficult, but it becomes much easier to cope when you have a friend or family member who is there to keep you company, offer support and listen to what you have to say.

It’s often easy to forget how much someone else is hurting. During funerals, be sure to be especially mindful of how your loved ones are feeling. Don’t try to fill the gaps of silence with unnecessary comments. Be a force of comfort rather than a force of unnecessary conversation.

If you or someone you care about is having an especially difficult time with a loss, please feel free to contact us at Stenzel Clinical for an appointment. Our counselors are trained to help people deal with grief and loss. Seeking help can be a sign of strength, especially during a time of extreme sadness and vulnerability.

Don’t let the hard times weigh you down. Come get help; we’ll be here for you.

This article on funeral etiquette is provided by Everplans — The web’s leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

How to act at a funeral

If you had a complex relationship with the person who died or with surviving family members, knowing whether or not you should attend the funeral or memorial service and knowing how to act can be difficult and delicate.

Though there are no rules for managing complex relationships at a funeral or memorial service, it’s usually a good idea to go with your gut. It’s also important to consider the feelings of others, and to remember that, for the most part, having the support of others at the service can make a grieving family feel loved and cared for.

Break-ups, Divorces, And Re-marriages

When a former spouse or partner dies, many feelings can arise, especially if children are involved. You may want to attend the funeral or memorial service but feel emotionally conflicted, or you may want to attend the service but don’t know how your presence at the event would be received by other family members. If you have children with the person who died you may want your children to attend the service though you may not want to attend yourself, or you may not want your children to attend though other family members may want them to. If you are re-married, there may be questions around whether or not your new spouse should attend the funeral or memorial service, as well.

For all these situations, and many other complex relationships and circumstances, there is no “right” way to behave. As with less complex relationships, if you feel you want to attend the service then you should do so. If you feel you do not want to attend the service then you should not attend. If you are concerned that your choice (either to attend or not, to bring children or not, to bring a new spouse or not) may upset certain family members, you might consider reaching out to those people before the service to have a conversation about your decision. This can help manage everyone’s expectations around the funeral or memorial service, and can avoid any unwanted surprises at the event itself.

Family Rifts

Many families have experienced rifts or estrangements for a variety of reasons, both within immediate families and extended families. When a death occurs and the family is not intact, knowing how to reach out and deciding whether or not to attend the funeral or memorial service can be complicated. In some cases, a death can reconcile people who had been divided, and can reconnect those who were previously estranged or separated. In other cases, a death may do nothing to repair a falling-out.

If you feel like you want to attend the funeral or memorial service but aren’t sure how your presence will be received, you may want to reach out to those family members to have a conversation about whether or not you should attend. If you feel like you would like to attend but know that your presence would upset the family, or if you do not want to attend but want to acknowledge the death, you may consider writing a letter to the family expressing your condolences.

Personal Grievances And Bad Feelings

Many personal and professional relationships are damaged or come to an end for a variety of reasons, and it can be difficult to know if you should attend a funeral or memorial service where there may be “bad blood.” There are many reasons that relationships are damaged or end, and sometimes those reasons seem meaningless in light of a death, while other times those reasons become magnified.

If you want to attend the service but are unsure of how your presence will be received, consider the effect that your attendance might have on the family and those closest to the person who died. If you and the family have mutual friends, you might consider reaching out to those friends to get their thoughts on the effect your presence might have. If you think that your presence would upset the family but you want to reach out and acknowledge the death, you might consider not attending the service but instead writing a letter to the family expressing your condolences.

For advice on how to write a condolence letter, see our article How to Express Sympathy: What to Say and What Not to Say.

How to act at a funeral

A good funeral requires the sensitivity and comfort only a minister can provide. Families have just lost loved ones, either tragically taken or have suffered through long illnesses. They are searching for comfort. No matter how old a person has lived or how long a family has prepared for the departure of their loved ones, it is still “too sudden” for many family members. Full article can be viewed and printed with Word or PDF formats at the links located at the bottom of this page.

There are times in the minister’s life when they called upon him to comfort the family. These may be during times of disasters, senseless deaths involving crimes, a death of a child, the loss of the main provider in the home, wartime casualties, etc. Family member often are looking for answers or reasons why this has just happened, as well as seeking comfort.

The role of the pastor is vital during these crucial times. A pastor’s role is more than just speaking words of comfort, it is listening and being there when family members need you the most. New pastors often feel uncomfortable and unsure whether their words will bring comfort. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you along the way. The most important thing you can do is to allow them to know you care and are there for them. Before leaving their home, hospital, or funeral home, make sure you have a time of prayer with them.

Listed below are ideas that may be able to help you during this time. Again, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you prepare for this homecoming ceremony.

This is the first funeral I have been too as an adult and I was wondering if anyone had any good advice about certain things, such as what to wear and things to say. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: For more clarification, the funeral is that of a friend who was pretty young, 20 years old. I knew him and played sports with him. When I was younger I knew the family very well but we have drifted apart over the years.

Hope this helps a little

Best advice my father ever gave me.

"The funeral's not for the dead, son, it's for the living."

Don't wear anything very colorful. Gray suit and muted tie tend to be my go to. Make sure you offer your condolences to the family, and offer some fond memories if you think it's appropriate. "I'm going to miss him/her so much — he/she always had that ability to make me laugh no matter how down I was. Please let me know if I can do anything to help out."

Thanks, it's really the thought of it being awkward that has me thinking about this. Like when it comes to seeing his family I really have no idea what I'm going to do.

Please let me know if I can do anything to help out."

Yeah the gutters need cleaned and i've been meaning to paint the garage.

I miss George Carlin.

Please let me know if I can do anything to help out

How about a ressurection? Come over this weekend and you can paint the garage. Bring your plunger, your tractor, your chainsaw, and your pickaxe. We're going to put your ass to work.

That's obviously a joke, but I think the point is valid. It is far more meaningful if you offer specific actions. ie: if you would like to talk about it, give me a call and we can go out for a drink or hang out and chat. Or, offer to have them over/take them out for dinner one night. Everyone deals with death a little differently, so base your offer on what they might actually want (whether or not they want to be distracted or talk about it).

When one of my best friends passed away last year his family decided to wear bright colors and have everyone do so. It was a day to celebrate his life, not one to dwell on what we've lost.

This is heavily subjective based on whose funeral it is and what the service will be like.

General funeral: nice suit and usually black tie. Offer condolences, don't compare to your own losses and most importantly listen. People will talk, share stories and maybe even vent as we grieve in strange ways sometimes.

Closer family and celebration of life ceremonies are different. It was slacks and button down at my grandmothers' for example. Stories were told and laughs shared but it was mostly family and the random visitor from the retirement home in attendance.

I'd like to add that whatever you are gonna be wearing, make sure it the colours are toned down, stuff that doesn't draw ANY attention. Preferably dark colours, dark grey, black.

I realize this is EMSK, but for women, the same advice applies regarding dark or muted clothing and easy on the makeup (and perfume!).

The number of women I've seen at funerals wearing brightly colored, even shiny or sparkly clothing and enough makeup to scare a clown boggles my mind.

if you really want to be nice, go round to their house a week or so later with some nice food. People get loads of condolences at the funeral, but then people who are only attending move on a week or so later, but the family will still be grieving and will definitely appreciate it

Although this isn't necessarily an answer to OP's question, this is some of the best advice anyone can give.

I see a lot of posts here recommending muted tones instead of black, and you specifically pointed that out in yours as well, would you mind explaining the rationale behind that pls?

As far as dress goes, a dark suit and subtle shirt colors are best. You don't want to stand out.

How to act, I feel, depends on how close you are to the family of the one that died. When my friends dad died I went to the viewing and we just chatted and laughed about random things. It gave him an opportunity to take him mind off of the situation.

If it's someone you weren't very close with, stick to pleasantries like "I'm sorry for your loss" or "let me know if there's anything I can do for you." Don't laugh if no one else is laughing. It's pretty inevitable that at some point something inappropriate will come into your head, but you have to fight it off.

I've been to way too many funerals. my parents, cousins, grandparents, friends.

Dress in dark, neutral tones. Avoid black its self unless you're family.

Offer condolences, keep phone off and in your pocket. Feel free to chat it up with friends and such, as these events are intended to be a gathering of friends. Share memories, sign the guestbook, etc.

Feel free to be emotional if so led. No one will judge you for it. My ex's dad showed up to my mom's showing and I cried on his shoulder for half an hour.

For the clothes-Try and wear a tie and some nice clothes dark in color. You dont need to go buy a new suit if you dont already have one. Borrow some clothes if need be, but look as respectful as you can. Dont wear running shoes. find some nice shoes. Dont douse yourself in a strong cologne. Respect for the family is the first thing you want to remember.

Take a few hard candies and put them in your pocket, maybe cough drops, and some Kleenex tissue. If you do cry, do your best and keep it soft, dont moan and wail loudly. If you cant keep it together, gently remove yourself from the situation and excuse yourself. go outside for some air. Keep your head together and show respect for the family.

I always take my sunglasses. but you never wear them indoors. Leave your cell phone in the car. No cell calls or texts allowed. And for certain NO PHOTOS.

If you can afford it buy flowers and have them delivered to the church/ memorial service. By a condolence card for the parents of the deceased. Sign the guestbook. Respect is the first and last thing you need to remember.

Think about a few memories you have about the deceased and share those memories if you want with the family. ( only if the time is right )

Do not show up drunk! You can have a stiff drink to calm your nerves. but dont be an idiot and act or smell of alcohol. Avoid cigarettes until after the church/funeral home memorial service. You will smell bad.

Trust us when we tell you that funeral directors can teach you a thing or two about etiquette—funeral etiquette that is. They’ve seen first-hand what can happen when you throw together a wide variety of acquaintances, friends, and family during a difficult and emotional time.

You can easily avoid some of the most common funeral manners blunders. Just take a look at our list of What NOT to do at a Funeral.

10 Things Not to Do at a Funeral

Have you heard the one about the woman who brought her wedding photos to her ex-husband’s funeral? Or how about the one about the fight that broke out right in front of the casket? Actually, you’d be surprised at how often fights take place at funerals. Proper funeral etiquette is really all about common sense and good manners. To give yourself a refresher, take a look at 10 Things NOT to Do at a Funeral. While you’re at it, forward it on to that unpredictable friend or relative who could use a manners tune-up before the next family funeral. Want more info on funeral etiquette? We’ve got it. Visit our funeral etiquette page.

1. Don’t be late.

There is an old saying that if you are on time you are late. This is a good rule to follow when attending a funeral. Try to arrive early so that you can get settled well before the service begins. You certainly don’t want to interrupt the proceedings by having to look for a seat. If you do arrive late, enter quietly and discreetly find a seat in the back.

2. Don’t dress for a club, party, or the beach.

True, the rules for funeral dressing are much more relaxed than they used to be, but you still need to use common sense when deciding what to wear. The key word here is respect. Not just respect for yourself, but respect for the loved one you are saying goodbye to. Save the flip-flops for the beach and the sparkles for the club. Choose something tasteful and make it work.

3. Don’t let your phone ring, chime, or ding.

We’ve all been there—you’re in a quiet place like a church or a theater and a phone goes off. Even worse, it’s your phone! Be sure to mute your ringer before you enter the service. If, heaven forbid, your phone does go off, quickly silence the ringer and step outside to take the call.

4. Don’t text, surf, or otherwise be glued to your cellphone.

Sure, there could be an emergency where you have to be reached, but it’s highly unlikely there will be anything so important it can’t wait until the service is over. You are here to honor someone you cared about and were connected to. Give them your undivided attention. You won’t get another chance to do so.

5. Don’t forget the purpose of the occasion.

If you’ve never lost a loved one, you may not understand the wide range of emotions the family is experiencing. This may leave you confused about what to do, what to say, and how to behave. You can take your cue from the family with regard to specific behavior. Just keep in mind that you’re there to pay your respects to the deceased and his or her family. If you are respectful and courteous, you’ll be fine.

6. Don’t cause a scene.

Don’t feel guilty about saying or doing something that causes a loved one to cry or crying yourself. Crying is healthy. If, however, you find yourself weeping uncontrollably (you’re causing a scene or making other mourners uncomfortable), it is polite to excuse yourself until you regain control.

7. Don’t ignore your noisy child (or adult, for that matter.)

Before bringing a child to a funeral, think about whether or not they might be disruptive during this type of occasion. If they are very young, the grief displayed during the service may be upsetting to them. Some children, like adults, may respond to grief with humor or behavioral issues. Should uncomfortable behavior take place, quickly and quietly step out of the service. If an adult in your party is not behaving in an appropriate manner, a quiet reminder of the situation will probably do the trick.

8. Don’t say stupid stuff.

While you still want to be yourself, it’s always smart to think about what you say before you say it. This is especially true if you are talking or telling a story about the deceased. Make sure that the content you are covering is appropriate for the context. The last thing you want to do is embarrass or cause pain for someone who is close to the deceased.

9. Don’t forget that it’s not about you.

Unless you are the spouse, close family member, or special personal friend of the deceased, then you are likely attending the funeral to support the family and pay your respects. That means you are not there to draw attention to yourself. While it’s perfectly understandable to be upset and emotional, the last thing the loved ones need is to have to attend to a visitor who is disruptive. If you are overwhelmed with emotions, step outside until you can compose yourself. Express your sympathy to the grieving but avoid talking at length about how the death is affecting you. In other words, be sensitive to everyone who is attending and don’t make the funeral all about you.

10. Don’t be careless when taking selfies, snaps, or Instagrams.

There are still places where it’s taboo to take photos and a funeral service is one of these. While this may be the first time the family has been in one place for a long-time, wait until after the service is over to try to get a shot. You may find an appropriate time during the repast (if there is one) or you can do it after the graveside service. ALWAYS be aware of what is behind and around you when you snap that photo. You don’t want to inadvertently catch something inappropriate or someone at a bad time.

Do you have a funny, embarrassing, or unique funeral story to tell? Share it with us on our FORUMS page.

When a loved one dies, it’s hard to sit through a funeral without feeling sad and overwhelmed. If the funeral is for your child’s grandparent, it can be even more challenging as you must also keep an eye on your children during the service. It’s up to you to decide if your children are old enough to attend the funeral, but if you do plan to take them, prepare them ahead of time. Certain behaviors are expected at a funeral and your children should know what they are so they can act appropriately.

Explore this article

1 Attend or Not?

It can be tough to make a decision about taking your children to their grandmother or grandfather’s funeral. Consider their age before making your choice. Babies and toddlers likely won’t know what’s going on, but school-age children and teens are old enough to pay their respects. If your children were particularly close to their grandparent, attending the funeral might help with the grieving and healing process. Your teenage children might wish to write and read a poem during the service, as well, as a way to find closure and say goodbye. If you do choose to take your children, dress them in nice clothes, similar to what they would wear to church. Dressing nicely is one way to teach them how to show respect for their grandparent as they say goodbye, but children usually don’t wear black, according to Emily Post, an etiquette expert.

2 Before the Funeral

Depending on the religion in which the service will be conducted, the coffin holding the body might be placed in front of the altar inside the sanctuary or in a small room off the sanctuary where the family will gather before the service. Warn your children ahead of time and remind them that they are to walk past the body quietly and whisper their goodbyes. Have your children walk into the church or sanctuary quietly and take their seats without talking and playing around. If there is music before the service, encourage your children to sing along if the congregation is asked to participate or to sit quietly and listen. If other family members stop by to say hello, allow your children to greet them, but ask them to save conversations for after the service.

3 During the Funeral

The most important etiquette rule during a funeral is to be quiet. Remind your children that they are not supposed to talk during the service and that they should sit still. Take them to the bathroom before the funeral because they should also remain in their seats until the service is over. Bring tissues so your children don’t have to get up if they start to cry. Let them know that crying is all right, too. The same rules apply if your family joins the funeral procession to the cemetery for graveside prayers. Your children should stand still and pray with everyone else.

4 After the Funeral

Most funerals conclude with a reception that usually includes a meal and time to reminisce about the loved one who has passed. Your children can sit with whomever they would like during the reception, but remind them to use their inside voices and to avoid running around causing a disturbance. If your children start to get out of hand, it’s polite to remove them from the reception and either take them home or restate the rules before allowing them to rejoin the other family members and friends.

How to act at a funeral

As is often the case, we tend to get house calls in the middle of snow storms. And this past week was no different. I plowed out the funeral home’s parking lot, pulled out the pick-up van and we were on our way. We arrived to a packed house where family and friends encircled the deceased in a garrison of grief.

“Direct cremation,” the family said. “That’s what she wanted.” As is our modus operandi we assured them, “Take as long as you need to say your good-byes.” And with that permission, six members of the family proceeded to pull out their cell phones, leaned down and took a photo with the deceased.

Funeral photography, funeral selfies and “corpsies” via mobile devices are becoming more and more normal at death beds and funerals, despite the fact that they’re seen by many as pure sacrilege. The Huffington Post stated that such images are “evidence the apocalypse can’t come soon enough.” And with the boneheaded cadaver selfie and the recent “we put the fun in funeral” military Instagram photo in the news, it’s no wonder The Huffington Post feels the way they do. And let me be clear, the cadaver selfie and the military photo aren’t cool and they aren’t the funeral selfies that I’m defending.

I myself once felt uncomfortable with the idea of deathbed and funeral selfies, but as I’ve seen more and more people take these photos, I’ve slowly become more open. Here’s why:

There’s a long history of funeral photography. Heck, I think there’s a one million year old photo of a dead Homo erectus floating around the internet. There may even be one of dead Jesus somewhere on Reddit. And there are certainly thousands of “odd” and “creepy” post-mortem photographs from the Victorian era.

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But, unlike the cadaver selfie or the boneheaded military photo, funeral photography is usually motivated by some kind of love. Intent is part of the issue when talking about funerals and photography, etc. Why do it? What’s the motivation? And although the motivation isn’t always clear, it is clear most take these photos as a token of remembrance. A token of love.

“But isn’t the selfie – by definition – an act of narcissism?” you ask. At first glance, yes. Selfies would seem like the epitome of narcissism, and indeed many are self-serving. But many (most) – especially the ones taken by those who find themselves in the emerging culture of social media – funeral selfies are about both belonging and identity.

Emerging culture has moved from the neatly defined groups/tribes of pluralism to the blending of fragmentation. We are like quilts. We’re like mosaics. With fragmentation, the social rules that come with the strictly defined boundaries of pluralism become less and less important. With fragmentation, belonging and identity become of prime importance. Belonging and identity is decorum.

Social media is how many of us relate to the world. And the selfie plays a part in that relationship. It is a way of saying “this is where I am at. This is what I’m doing. This is who I am. These are my stupid duck lips.” And the funeral selfie is how we say, “This part of my community has died and I just wanted to let you know.” In the minds of many, taking a selfie with the deceased is right because it’s about expressing a connection to the deceased and wanting to share that connection with others. It’s about identity and belonging.

Obviously, though, permission is the thing when it comes to funeral selfies. If you want to take any form of funeral photography, ask first. While you may be a part of emerging culture, it’s likely your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are not. They have a sense of decorum that has been molded by a tribal history that you might lack, so ask their permission before you take your photos. And for god’s sake, don’t jump in the casket so you can get “a really good close up”. And, if the deceased has a Facebook or twitter account, it’s probably not good to tag them in your photo.

And just because you have permission to take the photo doesn’t mean you have permission to share the photo on Facebook. Yeah, we love you and we love your grandmother, but when we’re sitting down to eat some meatloaf for dinner we’re not that interested in having your corpsie show up in our Instagram feed.

Since social media is how we — the younger, emerging generation — relates with the world, it will likely be how we relate with death.

So, a funeral selfie isn’t about stupid kids and their narcissistic attempts to express themselves. It’s about how they/we relate with a world that’s being defined more and more by social media, globalization and fragmentation. It’s about belonging and identity.

Caleb Wilde is a funeral director who blogs at Confessions of a Funeral Director.