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Photograph of dying Gran

(180 Posts)
Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 07:57:50

I was horrified yesterday to find a photo of a poor old soul curled up on a bed apparently asleep. The text told me that it was the poster's gran who was in her last hours. Lots of responses offering support etc to the person who'd posted it. I replied suggesting that it was not very respectful to post this very private moment on a social media site. The poster replied with a lot of guff saying it was because she loved her etc etc.
Privacy, dignity, respect ? Was I overreacting?

SueH49 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:04:47

I guess everyone has their own ideas of what respect/love is and obviously for you it is not the same as it is for the person who posted.
While I don't think I would post something like that I don't see anything wrong with doing so if someone wants to. Each to their own.

Auntieflo Sat 13-Apr-19 08:06:03

Nothing's sacred these days unfortunately Jane10
It's a pity that some folk want to share every minute of their lives.

Whitewavemark2 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:09:54

It does seem odd to me that the modern thing seems to share moments of extreme (for me) privacy. People seem to feel the need to wear their hearts on their sleeve and show all outward signs of emotion. My absolute instinct is quite the opposite. I am I suppose a private person by nature, and I would never share such momentous occasions with anyone other than my closest family members.

But I guess what makes us all so colourful and fascinating is our approach to life’s journey.
I think that as long as we are not intently harming anyone we can be tolerant of those who think differently to ourselves.

Willow10 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:20:40

Poor dying gran didn't have a say in it obviously. I just don't understand this obsession with sharing even your most private moments with the whole world.

Chewbacca Sat 13-Apr-19 08:25:03

Willow is right; did anyone ask Gran if she wnated to be photographed in her last hours? To me, it show a complete lack of respect to those who are unable to speak for themselves.

Oldwoman70 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:32:41

I also don't understand the need to share every private moment with the world. I certainly wouldn't want my last moments posted for the entertainment of strangers.

There was a story recently of someone who had posted a video of herself giving birth!

travelsafar Sat 13-Apr-19 08:32:54

I agreewith the above posts about sharing something so intimate and private. I remember my oldest friend having her husband in ICU and so many people going to see him although he was unconsious.I remarked that knowing him as i did he would hate to think that all and sundry were seeing him when so vulnerable, lying there practically naked with tubes and wire all over his body. She gasped when i said this and i thought i had offended, but she said you are right, i just didn't think, i have been so worried about him. She spoke to the staff saying please only admit close family to see him, and this is what they did.You have to protect your loved ones when they can not do it themselves. Her husband was a high ranking officer in the fire brigade and even though very ill still needed to maintain dignity and privacy at such a bad time.Thankfully he is fully recoverd.

Anniebach Sat 13-Apr-19 08:36:00

Why even take a photograph of someone dying

Grannyknot Sat 13-Apr-19 08:40:19

I was looking for something on YouTube recently, a recipe, when I inadvertently came across a close-up video of a woman (obviously a complete stranger to me) with her "born sleeping" (stillborn) baby. Once I realised what it was, I quickly clicked off it, but it left me feeling uncomfortable, as if I had intruded. I had to put it out of my mind.

I'm in the "don't understand" it camp.

There's no escape from it though. My daughter who is tech savvy says that many people don't know how to make their accounts private, and don't realise that if they don't set privacy parameters, what they post is available to anyone and everyone.

Whitewavemark2 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:40:30

My father died out doors when gardening. He was lying on the lawn. My instinct was to cover him to keep his privacy and respect.

Harris27 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:40:34

Just been through this. My mams funeral last week some relative taking pictures of her funeral flowers. Then we had suspicions of photographs taken in her last hours caused quite a family stir and i have not spoken to the person since.we protected our mam till the last keeping every last minute with dignity and the way we knew she'd of wanted it. Very distressing.

Harris27 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:42:09

Agree with willow and chewbacca.

gillybob Sat 13-Apr-19 08:44:42

I agree with you willow and speaking as someone who avoids cameras like the plague I would hate to think someone would photograph me in my dying hours and horror of horrors share it on social media .

harrigran Sat 13-Apr-19 09:01:30

Words fail me, could anyone be more insensitive ? The poor lady.

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 09:02:02

Sorry. I failed to mention that this photo turned up in my Twitter feed. It had lots of 'likes'!

Grannynise Sat 13-Apr-19 09:03:48

I attended the funeral of a family member recently and was horrified, but not surprised, to see paparazzi outside the church taking photographs of mourners. And there were pictures published even before the service was over.

SisterAct Sat 13-Apr-19 09:10:43

Agree with the above posts not something we would do.

My niece wanted us to video my mums funeral because she was away but we said no. We gave her a copy of the hymns prayers and Eulogy and said raise a glass to her and remember her as a wonderful lady and this is what she would want.

Gonegirl Sat 13-Apr-19 09:52:35

I remember, when I was a child, the people in the house opposite my friend's house had the open coffin of a recently deceased family member in the front garden whilst they took photos.

Agree with OP that that was breach of privacy. She had no right to do that.

Susan56 Sat 13-Apr-19 09:54:42

When my dad was dying in intensive care,we only let immediate family visit.He was a very dignified man and we made sure he was dignified in death.This was 25 years ago and some extended family members still don’t speak to me but I would do the same again.
I wonder how many pictures the young lady shared of her grandma in life.

BradfordLass72 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:14:20

I wonder what the point of posting her gran in extremis was?
Did she do it to get lots of sympathy?

This sharing thing may all stem from the TV shows, often American, which encourage people to bare their souls (and dirty laundry) so the rating shoot up.
The poor saps don't realise they are being manipulated by voracious and cynical producers.

Mind you, some of the things shared here on GN are very personal, it's the nature of the beast I suppose.

I come from a time when what was said in the home stayed in the home and many women didn't even know what their husbands earned, or quite often even what they did!
"He's something in the city" was a apposite phrase. smile

Times change, as do we.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:18:17

It seems insensitive. Dare I say these days people seem to want to share everything on social media. Not for me - but time change.

jura2 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:22:25

Totally with you Jane10.

Unless it is what the person wishes to show, of her/his own will- for a campaign. As some people have themselves chosen to do for Dignity in Dying campaign.

Willow10 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:23:36

Something happened last year that I have never spoken about and still don't know how to deal with. A new lady came to one of the club's I belong to and trying to be friendly, I chatted to her during coffee time. She got her phone out to show me some pictures of her daughter with a new puppy. As she was scrolling through she stopped a picture of a man's head, eyes closed and looking quite purple. 'Oh, that's a bloke who hung himself' she said and enlarged the picture to show the rope around his neck! I was shaken to the core and asked her what on earth she was doing with a photo like that. She said she worked in a police call centre. One of the policemen who had found the poor man had photographed it and sent it to her to see if he could be identified. I said didn't she think it was very disrespectful to him and his family to be showing a picture like that - and what was it doing on her personal phone? She just shrugged and continued to scroll through her photos. For days afterwards all I had in my head was that awful picture. I only saw the woman a couple of times after that, but couldn't bring myself to speak to her and still feel as if I should have done something. But what? I don't know her circumstances and if I'd reported it she may well have lost her job. I still feel confused and upset just thinking about it and that picture is still in my head.

bikergran Sat 13-Apr-19 10:29:06

My family took photos of the flowers from dh funeral, afterwards the funeral director takes the little cards off the flowers and puts them in a little memorial booklet(its up to you if you want it) the photos of the flowers we made into a collage photo and it sits with the little memorial booklet.
I do look at it every now and then.

GreenGran78 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:33:42

Willow10 How dreadful! No wonder you are upset. I would have been inclined to tell her to delete it, in front of you, on the threat of reporting her. I can understand that people can get very casual about such matters when they are in their everyday life, but she should know what is unacceptable.

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:34:54

The lady in the photo apparently had Alzheimers so most unlikely to have given permission.
Willow10 how horrifying!! I'd certainly give that person a wide berth in future.

crazyH Sat 13-Apr-19 10:40:24

I remember my friend taking a photograph of her dying husband.....the flash startled him. I often wonder what he imagined the flash was. Did he think he had crossed over?

Willow10 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:50:18

GreenGran - I have thought of doing exactly that on the couple of occasions that I have seen her since. But somehow just the sight of her makes me feel that revulsion again and I can't even bring myself to approach her. I thought that sharing this might help me feel better, but that awful shock has got me shaking again just writing about it.

Cherrytree59 Sat 13-Apr-19 10:50:30

I agree Jane10 Extremely disrespectful sad

I was with both my parents when they died and the awful sight of an ill and dying person will stay with me forever.

I would have no wish for those extremly sad moments to be shared with anyone.

The last thing I could do for both my parents was to make sure they had a dignified death.

Buffybee Sat 13-Apr-19 11:40:45

Typical of this "me, me, me" generation. Everything has to always be about "them".
Showing every bit of their lives on social media, to give them their few seconds of "fame".
Craving recognition and sympathy from anyone and everyone.
So shallow!

Chucky Sat 13-Apr-19 12:14:35

Jane19 you were not over reacting, I think that sort of behaviour is absolutely disgusting and certainly not a way to show you loved anyone, rather just looking for attention and sympathy.
Cherrytree59 I completely agree with you. Unfortunately my father died alone in hospital, which was really not how he wanted to die. He was in a 4 bedded ward and we really didn’t get the opportunity to stay with him. We didn’t expect that to be the last time we saw him alive. My mother still talked about “if only we had pushed harder to stay with him 20 years later.
When it came to my mum’s time, she collapsed in front of me and I knew she had had a stroke, so phoned 999 immediately, however when we reached hospital they said she had had a massive bleed, with no chance of survival! They expected her to die imminently.
However she hung on for 3 days. I only left the hospital once to collect some clothes, my mum’s rosary and a photo of my father, to put on her pillow. Other family members did visit, but I insisted I wouldn’t leave her as I had promised her she wouldn’t die alone. She had a very peaceful, dignified death with me, my 3dc and 1 of my nieces with her. I felt it was the last thing I could do for her, before the arguments began!
I did take pictures of the flowers at the cemetery after both dad and mum’s funeral, but that was for me, not for others to see.

paddyann Sat 13-Apr-19 12:18:46

People have taken photographs of the dead and dying for as long as photography has been around .Over 40 years ago the area we worked in had a large ethnic community from Armenia (I think,it was a long time ago) They would prop the coffin up against a wall and have pictures taken with the deceased .Always professional photos...to send back "home"The first time we were asked to attend it was quite a shock ,but we soon realised it was just part of tradiition for them
.Over the years we've been the go to people for pictures of family with sick/prem /dying and dead babies.We've lost babies ourselves and the hospital knew we would be sensitive with the session .
The "born asleep" sessions are taken by volunteers who have experience of child loss and who know the importance of having something to show the family/world that there was a child that was and is a part of the family.So many times in the past these babies were expected to be put into the back of the parents minds.not spoken of and the phrase "forget about this one and try agian " was often used.Social media is a helpful tool in getting other people who haven't experienced stillbirth to see that it is just a baby... a baby that doesn't breath or cry ..but your baby and a part of you you will always carry in your heart .Its the ONLY memories of the child who you had high hopes for an dlikely a whole life planned.People ,on the whole dont take them to share,but if sharing helps even one other family come to terms with grief that cant be bad.
When we lost our babies we didn't get the footprints/lock of hair memory box tings that parents get today .It still grieves me that 40 odd years down the line there is nothing that says baby ever existed .Dont look down on the grief and the way of coping with it .Surely its better that we all can mention that wee life by its name and see its wee face .

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 12:29:04

That's very sad paddyann and I can completely understand mothers, families, wanting keepsakes almost as proof and recognition that this baby existed.
However, in the case of the twitter post, the lady was of advanced age. She'd lived. Someone suggested that it would be more appropriate to post a picture of the lady while still 'herself' maybe at a family gathering and with the text saying something like 'remembering happier times' or something like that. This twitterer was clearly looking for pats on the back. It seemed to be all about her rather than her poor old gran exposed to complete strangers in her final hours.

Witzend Sat 13-Apr-19 12:29:57

We took a photo of my poor mother when she was dying at 97, with advanced dementia, but mainly for a sister living far away, who couldn't be there.
I wouldn't have dreamt of 'sharing' it on social media.

In a museum in Amsterdam recently I saw a very poignant painting of a baby of maybe 4-6 months, lying in its crib as if asleep, but obviously dead.. In the days before photography I dare say grief stricken parents with enough money to pay an artist, wanted that reminder.

Oldwoman70 Sat 13-Apr-19 12:33:34

Taking a picture as a personal memento or for family is one thing, posting a picture of a dying grandmother on social media is disrespectful.

grannyqueenie Sat 13-Apr-19 12:35:13

Good post paddy. One persons distasteful is another persons comfort. Every family have their own way of “doing death”, according to their cultural and own family traditions and I think that we need to accept and respect that.
A dear friend of ours died recently in an hospice overseas. I was in contact with him by email until only a few weeks prior to his death. His widow emailed us with an account of his last days and how all the family coped with what was happening, it was very moving to read. The funeral home had complied a beautiful photo book using photos of his life supplied by the family, this included a couple of him with his family in the last few days of his life. We were invited to view this online. It was sad and shocking to see the obvious physical changes in him but his smile and spirit still shone through. Being so far away from them we really appreciated being able to share in those intimate family moments.

paddyann Sat 13-Apr-19 13:07:51

Jane10 my post was for grannyknot who found the "born sleeping" video distasteful .

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 13:31:43

I do get that paddyann. Photos and mementos for family are completely understandable.
I remember once visiting a work colleague who had recently had a stillbirth under awful circumstances. I was very struck by the photograph of the baby. He looked very peaceful and the picture was on a little table with flowers round it and a candle. It was clearly very important to his parents. I'm sure that extreme sensitivity is required by professional photographers in such situations. You must be uniquely qualified to carry out this last service for bereaved parents. thanks

rosecarmel Sat 13-Apr-19 13:47:51

Death - Different cultures and beliefs process it differently - I imagine if some unknowing soul walked into the catacombs of Palermo they'd be taken aback, too - Just as I was when my sister sent me unsolicited images on my phone or our dying sister without her permission or mine -

My sister has been, by choice, in a caretaker position for quite some time - She isn't immune to people's feelings, but I suppose has become accustomed to being around sickness, aging and death -

Yet she herself wouldn't leave the house without being fully put together, hair, makeup, clothes -

Everyone is different? I guess?

sodapop Sat 13-Apr-19 13:51:31

I agree Oldwoman70 two different things.

rosecarmel Sat 13-Apr-19 13:56:46

My nephew shared a photo on social media of himself, his sister and my dying brother between them - Both niece and nephew wearing big smiles, my brothers expression was one of side wide-eyed disbelief - He died within hours of the photo being taken, no idea if he gave permission or didn't -

To each their own ..

B9exchange Sat 13-Apr-19 16:08:09

I am appalled by this. Photos and images of individuals may be classified as personal data and are therefore regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998. If the image can be used to identify someone and tell you something about them it is likely that the Information Commissioner will consider it to be personal data, and therefore it is illegal to share it online without that person's permission.

An Alzheimer's patient who is dying is certainly not able to give consent. Is there any one of us here who would want their photo shared without their knowledge or consent in this situation?

Sara65 Sat 13-Apr-19 16:31:42

I certainly hope no one is unkind enough to take a photo of me during my last hours, dying isn’t a spectator sport, I can’t believe anyone would even think about whipping out their phone, and snapping a few photos at such a time!

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 17:09:54

Why is it a "pity" that some people want to share every moment of their lives, auntieflo? We are social animals, after all.

What harm did the photo you mention do, and to whom, do you think, jane10? I can't think of any harm it could have done so I'm wondering what there is to object about? I guess I'm arguing for freedom of choice. I don't know if I would choose to do that but I don't think it disrespects or harms anyone. Have we got too precious about seeing dying or dead people?

sodapop Sat 13-Apr-19 17:17:05

I think some things should remain private Baggs or stay within the family group.
For me its not about seeing a dying person but about allowing that person dignity and respect. Sharing such a picture on social media does not do that in my opinion.

Sara65 Sat 13-Apr-19 17:20:41

The dying person doesn’t seem to have any freedom of choice! And if you for whatever reason want to take a photo of your dying loved one, for goodness sake keep it to yourself, give the poor person some dignity in their last hours

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 18:21:49

Baggs that poor woman had no choice. I was outraged and upset on her behalf. Making a public spectacle of her Gran at her most vulnerable appalled me as I think it must appal any person with a scrap of sensitivity.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:22:03

Thank you for the reply, sodapop. I do get it, at least in part, but "curled up on a bed apparently sleeping" does not strike me as in any way undignified, nor does sharing such a picture strike me as necessarily disrespectful, even though I probably wouldn't do it myself.

In short, I can take it in my stride as someone else's choice that I don't need to feel shocked about.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:25:59

Yes, jane10, I understand that the grandma had no choice in the matter and that people find this significant. My own feeling is that if I was close to death or already dead, it wouldn't matter. I realise this is probably not a common view.

I suppose it's similar to not caring what happens to one's body after death. I don't. I've told my daughters they can feed me to vultures for all I care. They are not shocked by that since they know me and know it is true.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:26:40

They also know I'm a registered organ donor.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:27:58

People take photos of other people, and publish them in various ways, without their consent all the time.

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 18:29:02

Willow10 I think that sharing and showing that photo is strictly against the rules - it would have been sent to her in confidence and she should have deleted it if she could be of no help.

Jane10 that is quite shocking and it seem that people are becoming desensitised to what is right or wrong these days with every aspect of their lives being shared on social media. Poor Grandma who was not afforded privacy in her final hours.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:30:26

Feeding dead bodies to vultures was a coomon practice in India, btw, and a good way to deal with dead bodies in a hot climate.

The fall in vulture numbers because of poisoning in the food chain caused a real problem. I don't know if that has been solved yet.

It's not essentially different from cremation when you think about it.

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 18:34:20

My own feeling is that if I was close to death or already dead, it wouldn't matter. I realise this is probably not a common view.
Well, you wouldn't know, of course, but there is the aspect of the dignity of the dying or dead person.
Better to be remembered looking your best than probably your worst. We have been to several funerals in the last couple of years and the orders of service usually have a photo on them of the deceased looking younger and vibrant, which is a good way to remember them I think.

Alexa Sat 13-Apr-19 18:51:36

I agree with Jane. Disrespectful. Is this actually permitted on decent websites? It should be illegal to post photos of anybody without their permission unless they are celebs who presumably are paid for being celebs.

B9exchange Sat 13-Apr-19 19:17:36

The GDPR classifies personal data as anything that can be used as part of identification. Beyond the obvious name, phone number, and addresses, this also includes photos.

Article 4 of the GDPR, the data subject’s consent means…

“…any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.”

I would be livid if someone took a photo of me and posted it online without my consent, and it could be construed as an illegal act. There may need to be a test case.

If you want to put your entire life online for the world to see, that is absolutely your right to do so. But you do not have the right to put other people's lives online without their consent, and that includes your children, as Gwyneth Paltrow found out!

Privacy has been hard won, and is part of human rights legislation. Please respect it. A country that dispenses with privacy is in a very worrying state.

paddyann Sat 13-Apr-19 19:21:26

Callestimo WHO decides whats right or wrong? Surely its up to the individual.What really irritates me on FB are friends who put up posts to "mum on her heavenly birthday" folllowed by lengthy posts about how much she's missed etc etc .These are people who wouldn't give "mum" the time of day when she was alive and were happy for their children to call her the old witch!! A photograph of someone you love at the end of their life is no more disrespectful than treating them badly for years and then being a public mourner for sympathy ..in my opinion .

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 19:26:14

paddyann two wrongs don't make a right. Neither if the situations you mention are OK.

Sara65 Sat 13-Apr-19 19:27:57

I completely agree with Paddyann about the hypocrisy of some families, social media has made it possible to portray yourself as anything you like, just by posting a few stupid messages and some staged photos, however, a dying person should still be treated with dignity, not a photo opportunity for your Facebook page

rosecarmel Sat 13-Apr-19 20:38:47

I think the sender of images should extend the intended recipient the courtesy of asking them first of the image is something they wish to view or don't instead of shoving an image in the face of or sending it via text to any unsuspecting soul ..

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 20:41:27

Callestimo WHO decides whats right or wrong? Surely its up to the individual.
paddyann - that is precisely the point, you have hit the nail on the head.
The individual in this case was the grandmother, not the person who took the photo, and grandmother was in position to decide whether or not the photo of her dying was put on social media.

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 20:41:51

was in no position

sodapop Sat 13-Apr-19 21:20:18

Exactly Callistemon

grumppa Sat 13-Apr-19 21:57:17

It must be wrong to post on social media a photograph of any person without their consent (or their parents' if they are children). A couple of years ago a cousin of mine put on social media a photograph of her dying father (my uncle) with her smiling children (his grandchildren) as he lay totally unconscious, unable to give or withhold consent. This greatly upset his other daughter, and rightly so, in my opinion. The sick and dying should not be treated as photo opportunities.

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 22:02:26

This photo wasn't sent to me. I don't know the poster. It must have been liked or shared by someone I follow. With twitter pictures an be disseminated throughout the world to be seen by anyone. I didn't look for it it just turned up in my Twitter feed.

BradfordLass72 Sat 13-Apr-19 22:47:24

Willow10 That is so awful for you. Can I suggest something that has helped me?

I used to have nightmares (as an adult, not a child) from things I saw on the news.

Of course I stopped accessing all news media and still do but I found some relief in talking to the people who had been brutally treated, or who had been so despairing as to kill themselves.

I know that writing this in public will leave me open to scorn but I don't care.

I told these people they were not forgotten, that life had treated them shabbily but they would always be remembered by me at least, with love.

I'm not religious but I hope somehow the message gets through - love is never wasted.

jura2 Sat 13-Apr-19 22:51:31

No Twitter here- and this confirms that perhaps it is best that way.

I agree that it is wrong and disrespectful, and it would have upset me too.

rosecarmel Sat 13-Apr-19 23:25:24

I agree with Bradfordlass whole heartedly - Send love - I do similar when disturbing events appear in my newsfeed - I find it helpful as well -

Evie64 Sun 14-Apr-19 00:25:00

I agree Jane. That moment should be sacred and private. I loved the fact that my dear old dad was there for my birth and I was there stroking his face and talking to him as he died. I would not have dreamt of posting a picture of that moment, it was waaaaayy too special to share, plus my dad would have been seriously p****d off if I had!

Baggs Sun 14-Apr-19 08:09:13

I can see where I'm going wrong in most people's eyes: I don't regard birth or death as sacred. When someone says "Nothing is sacred", I agree.

It would seem that most people on this thread don't believe in the freedom of individuals to do what they want so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I suppose some will argue that the dying grandma was harmed. I don't see how. Privacy has been mentioned. I don't think I'll care about privacy when I'm "curled up as if sleeping" but actually dying. It really, really, really won't matter.

The important thing is that the granddaughter was with her gran at that moment and I suggest that that is what she wanted to record.

Posting the pic on social media might seem a bit weird to most of us (including me) but freedom is freedom. Give the girl a break.

This thread is really yet another grannyrant about how the young use social media.

Jane10 Sun 14-Apr-19 08:32:53

Sorry that you just don't get it Baggs. I've run this past several younger people and they similarly feel that this reveals at best poor judgement and at worst lack of sensitivity.

Alexa Sun 14-Apr-19 09:15:13

Dying is not sacred but, since we all must die, dying well is to be wished for. If someone wants the general public to watch her die that is her choice.
Everyone should be able to die with dignity. I have watched people die and, believe me, they are extremely helpless, and it's cruel to take advantage of a dying person.

Witzend Sun 14-Apr-19 09:27:43

What I'd ask myself is, would the person mind such a photo being shared publicly?
Should imagine most people would certainly not be happy.

One reason I'd never have shared the photo of my dying mother, was that she was in the most pitiful state anyway, and I know her former (pre dementia) self would have been appalled.

TBH even before she was dying, I dissuaded any non-close family from visiting her, since although by then she was well past caring, I knew her former self would have absolutely hated for them to see the pitiful state she was in. It was a question of her privacy as well as her dignity.

Sara65 Sun 14-Apr-19 09:41:12

Completely agree Witzend, my mother in law was an elegant charming woman, who always liked to look her best, after several years in a nursing home, suffering from dementia, she was certainly none of those things, I’m sure she would have wanted to be remembered for who she was for most of her life, not the last few years. We weren’t close, but I respected her, and would never in a million years have taken photos of her.

optimist Sun 14-Apr-19 09:53:52

Suggest you visit the Royal Academy in London to see the video art of Bill Viola on the subjects of birth life and death.

Jane10 Sun 14-Apr-19 09:59:56

Why? We are born, we live, we die. We don't have to have it recorded for public view.

moxeyns Sun 14-Apr-19 10:01:23

All about the poster's experience of the gran's last hours. Shallow and tasteless.

Jaycee5 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:03:55

My cousin sent photographs of her father in his coffin to his relatives in Australia. I got the impression that they were not particularly happy to receive them. She said 'well they weren't able to be at the funeral'.
At least she didn't put them on social media.

Callistemon Sun 14-Apr-19 10:14:54

Jaycee5 I can understand it if someone takes photos of the flowers, particularly if the person who ordered them wasn't there to see them - but not the father in his coffin.

Annaram1 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:19:05

My one time brother in law son was Italian. When his mother died everything about the funeral was photographed and shared with everyone.
My husband was Indian. When his father died, a relative sent him photos of his father in his coffin.
Not everyone has the same sensibilities.

Annaram1 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:21:56

I believe that here in Victorian days, it was fairly common to dress the body in their best clothes, sit them in a chair, and photograph them for posterity,

Callistemon Sun 14-Apr-19 10:26:11

Annaram1 at least they were 'looking their best' for the photograph, not lying curled up in a bed, near death.

GrumpyGran8 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:31:27

Annaraml Although some of the Victorian "death photographs" were real - taken because the deceased had no portrait taken in life - many were of live people, as this article explains: www.atlasobscura.com/articles/victorian-post-mortem-photographs

Beckett Sun 14-Apr-19 10:31:47

Surely the problem here is not that a photograph was taken but that it was put on social media. Some people may want a photo of the dead or dying or it may be a cultural thing - all well and good but I doubt if many people would then put it on social media for strangers to see.

Oldfossil Sun 14-Apr-19 10:33:09

Customs change - the Victorians were very keen on death masks etc.When photography came in there was a trend for taking pictures of the deceased, especially children, ‘sitting’ in chairs in ‘lifelike’ poses. It seems gruesome to most of us now, but presumably it didn’t seem so then. Victoria herself had mementos - a cast of Albert’s hand, for instance. We don’t seem so upset by other customs - mourning brooches and rings incorporating hair from the deceased . As a girl I remember my surprise at seeing photographs of the deceased on gravestones in France, and being revolted by waxy artificial flowers encased in glass... We may be revolted by some practices ( I wouldn’t dream of visiting the catacombs of Palermo, for instance) but I wouldn’t describe the people who adopted those practices as ‘disrespectful’ just because their world view was /is different.

jura2 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:34:47

Victorian days are gone however. It was acceptable then, and in some cultures more than others - but it is NOT now.

ReadyMeals Sun 14-Apr-19 10:36:30

It was probably just asking for trouble posting, because the poster's probably already emotionally fragile, and was likely to either reply angrily, or become upset by the thought she might have disrespected her gran. I'd have been inclined to say it's her bereavement let her handle it in her own way. At the end of the day, the old lady was dead and not likely to be embarrassed or upset by the photograph regardless of who was right or wrong about it.

maddyone Sun 14-Apr-19 10:40:56

I wouldn’t put it on social media, it seems intrusive to me. So no, I don’t think you were overreacting.

GrumpyGran8 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:44:46

Willow10 Simply keeping that photo on her personal phone was a breach of the rules, let alone showing it to everyone. Even though it was long ago, you should report her. Who knows what sort of other images she has on her phone - she could be keeping autopsy photos, photos of rape victims, anything!
You'd report somebody who was showing ISIS beheading photos around - this is no different.

tara Sun 14-Apr-19 10:47:53

I looked on Facebook one morning and saw a post asking for prayers for her sister as she had just lost her husband. The husband was my brother in Florida and they had not had time to inform me. You can imagine the shock to me, all because this woman wanted sympathy and prayers! My own husband was that day having major heart surgery. So already under stress!

harrysgran Sun 14-Apr-19 10:54:13

Lack of respect and no thought for those poor individuals who have no say in the matter the people who put photos like this on social media are attention seeking why they have to live their lives this way wanting everyone knowing their business is one thing but when it involves others who are unaware of this is disgraceful

madmum38 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:59:47

Normally I don’t like private things shared like it but once it did help me. My husband was in hospital with pneumonia, he was nil by mouth because he kept choking, his dementia was really bad. Every night I went and saw him his tongue was so dry and I would try to moisten it and informed the nurses. Couldn’t go for a couple of days as had a cold and didn’t want to pass more onto him so couple of days later went back and he was picking at his tongue, had turned black and orange with dryness,again told staff and was told his oral care was being managed.
Took a picture of his tongue, not face and tweeted it to the hospital, it got the job done and his mouth was always fine afterwards though I did get told off for taking the picture as was told it would be a matter for safeguarding, I didn’t care though

Annaram1 Sun 14-Apr-19 11:00:51

Having seen Oldfossil's post reminds me that when I go to the local crematorium to visit my husband's burial plot, there are a lot of plots here with photos of the dead in their good days. And artificial flowers. Frenchified customs here!!! Oh dear!

Barmeyoldbat Sun 14-Apr-19 11:04:26

Absolutely awful. The poor gran had no say in it and would probably hate people seeing her like that. Total lack of respect. If my family did that to me I would come back and haunt them.

georgia101 Sun 14-Apr-19 11:40:57

Willow10 I'm very shocked and sorry that you were shown that awful picture by someone working in a police call centre. I think she should have been officially reprimanded at the very least for having and sharing that image. Shame on her for her lack of respect and feelings.

Oldfossil Sun 14-Apr-19 11:46:21

Beckett I get your point. Social media does allow different world views / cultural practices to enter our own preferred environment in a way that can be disconcerting or distressing to us. We need to be quick at averting our eyes.

EthelJ Sun 14-Apr-19 11:56:43

I would be upset too Jane. Was the person posting someone you know? Also did the person in the photo know her image was being posted. If not it is very disrespectful.
I think the problem. Is people just post things on socialmedia without really considering the impact.

sandelf Sun 14-Apr-19 12:32:56

No you were NOT over reacting. I think people's concept of personal and private have altered - and not for the better. Where is the poster's respect. I think they do it to get attention.

labazsisslowlygoingmad Sun 14-Apr-19 12:36:55

flowers being photographed are one thing we have a picture somewhere of grandads flowers but photographing dead people especially ones who had suffered and taken their own lives is quite another thing. i just think its very wrong