The first death in the family when I was old enough to feel it was that of my brother. I was in third year high school then. I don’t recall any pictures being taken.This was in 1973.
When I was in second year college, my Lolo died. I don’t know where we were but I do recall a picture was taken. I found that so bizarre… we stood by his coffin. After seeing that picture once, I never looked at it again.
When I was in fourth year college, my mother died. Pictures were taken of us walking from church to the cemetery. A sister arranged the photos in a brown album (sold in Kameraworld at the time). I looked at it once and never again. What on earth for? To recall, to re-live the sadness? My mother is in my heart, she’s alive in me and not dead in some coffin.
Then five years ago, my father died. Again, pictures were taken. This time in the “reception” after the funeral — at least those were the photos I saw. I never saw any of the phtos taken in church (if any were taken to begin with) nor in the funeral parlor. Nonetheless, I still found those photos taken in the “reception” bizarre because there we were, having just buried our father but we were smiling in the pictures. Why? Because there was a camera, I guess.
If and when I die and am waked and then brought to rest, I hope no one will take pictures. I just might come back to confiscate the cameras and the photos, hahaha.
Because what for the pictures?
To document what? Grief? Consolation? Presence?
I rest my case.