Two reasons why funeral directors sometimes advise people to have closed-casket funeral services

8 June 2020
 Categories: , Blog


There are quite a few circumstances in which a funeral director may strongly advise a client to opt for a closed-casket funeral service. Here are some examples of the reasons why funeral directors sometimes make this recommendation.

The deceased died of an infectious disease

When someone dies as a result of an infectious disease, then the funeral director who helps to organise their funeral might advise this individual's loved ones to have a closed-casket funeral service. The reason for this is as follows; when there is an open casket at a funeral, guests will often go up to the casket and either lay a memento on the remains or perform some display of affection (such as kissing the deceased on the cheek or perhaps gently patting the deceased's hands). If a guest were to do this to the remains of someone who had a highly infectious disease when they passed away, they could catch that infection. This could happen, even after the remains have been carefully washed and embalmed by the funeral director's staff at the funeral home.

Whilst technically, it might be possible to have an open casket and to then put up a warning sign in the funeral home, instructing guests not to touch the remains, the reality is that this might not be effective, as grief-stricken people can behave in unpredictable and irrational ways. As such, if the casket is open and a guest who is distraught by this person's death approaches it, they may unexpectedly be overcome with the urge to hug or hold the hands of the deceased, in which case they could then get sick. Because funeral directors are aware that newly-bereaved people can behave in this way, they may insist on a closed casket in this situation.

One of the deceased person's relatives suffers from necrophobia

If the family member of a deceased person informs a funeral director that they suffer from necrophobia, then the funeral director might suggest opting for a closed-casket, even if the other family members originally requested an open one. The reason for this is as follows, whilst many people are afraid of death and find the idea of viewing a deceased person to be quite frightening, for individuals who have necrophobia, this fear is extremely intense and makes it incredibly hard for them to cope with funerals.

As such, if in this situation, the funeral director were to comply with the other family members' request to have an open-casket, the person with necrophobia might not feel psychologically able to go into the funeral home. If they try to walk into it and they then see the casket with the visible remains, they might end up having such an intense panic attack that they have to immediately run away.

For further information, reach out to a local funeral director.