, , ,

Source: Facebook.com via Buzzfeed

Source: Facebook.com via Buzzfeed

I’ve always been fascinated with post-mortem photography. There’s even an example of this in my book–a photograph of my grandfather in his casket in 1975. In the days preceding the ubiquitous camera or smartphone with camera, sometimes the only portrait a family took was when a loved one died.

Buzzfeed recently assembled a collection of 17 post-mortem photos that they deem “haunting.” I find myself wanting the backstory–what happened? What killed these people? How can the living appear perfectly unaffected in the portraits (like in photo #10 or photo #17). But the siblings in photo #4 look a little traumatized, don’t you think?

What comes to mind when you look at these photos? Would you want a final picture of your loved one? I occasionally see cameras at funeral homes, but it’s pretty rare.