"Saddened in New Jersey" complained that her sister's 4-year-old daughter put stickers on the hands and face of her deceased grandmother during her wake. Children need to grieve, too. That said, they also should behave appropriately.
I saw an article about one funeral home with an excellent solution. Before the dearly departed is placed in the casket, the inside fabric, pillow, etc. are removed. The children are then allowed to decorate the uncovered casket walls. The interior is then "reupholstered" and nothing is visible. The children are told that it is to keep their messages private.
- A Mom in Texas
DEAR MOM: Thank you for sharing a clever solution. I felt that the child's placing of stickers on her grandmother's body was disrespectful and the mother was wrong to permit it. While I viewed it as a desecration of a corpse, readers felt differently:
DEAR ABBY: Our grandchildren love stickers, put them all over themselves and their clothing, and are thrilled if they can share them with me to "wear" for a while. If any of our grandkids are still young enough to want to "decorate" ME in my casket when I go, I would hope everyone around me would appreciate the gesture and smile at the loving relationship I had with that child.