Irish Morbid Humor: What Do You Wear to Your Funeral?

The Irish have a morbidly funny sense of humor, which is a cultural trait I seem to have inherited. That drew me to this article about the changing mores re what people wear in their caskets.

People used to be dressed by grieving relatives in something thought of as Sunday best, but of course “Sunday best” has lost its commonly understood meaning because Sunday morning no longer means church for many people. The number of occasions for which one would don a suit or a dress overall has markedly declined. Does anyone remember the era when people dressed up to fly on an airplane? Now people wear comfortable clothing for flights of any length, and some come dressed as if they pulled their favorite sweats out of the laundry hamper.

According to the article, young people are posting pics of themselves on Facebook in trendy, sexy outfits claiming that this is the attire in which they plan to be buried. They’re not thinking, apparently, that burial might be a long way off and the exposed midriff of a 70+ year old often isn’t something that draws admiring gazes. The gist of the article is that people now want to be buried in clothing reflective of who they are: a favorite sweater, a hunting cap, a sports jersey.

Market capitalism being what it is, there is also mention in the article of a company that supplies one time only attire for corpses that have changed a lot due to illness, so that nothing in their closet is likely to fit them. Honestly, the market niches people find that are profitable astonish me. I’ll bet you can become a modern day millionaire supplying single use outfits through funeral homes for the newly dead.

I’ve never given what I might wear in a casket one single thought, and likely never will. How about you? Are you moved to leave directions that favor Sunday best, or attire “reflective of you”? If the latter, what might that be?

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