Before saying your final goodbye for their eternal journey, you see your loved one for one last time. Depending on religious beliefs and traditions, funerals vary in every part of the world. But one thing in common is that the legs are neatly covered either with a blanket or half-covered with the lid of a casket.
Why do they cover the legs in a casket? When a person dies, the feet swell, making it difficult for the shoes to fit, which is why the legs are covered.
Moreover, it’s traditional, and most people follow it.
But there are also several reasons why the legs are covered in a funeral, and we’ll answer your questions in this post.
Why Do They Cover The Legs In A Casket At Funeral
It’s common to see the deceased’s legs covered at a funeral during a viewing, which has been followed for many years. Not everyone dies a natural death; some deaths are non-natural. Also, depending on the manner of death, the family members plan the funeral accordingly. In most cases, half of the body is covered to preserve dignity during the final moments.
Reasons why they cover the legs at a funeral:
As A Mark Of Respect For The Deceased
Getting straight to the point, the main focus is on the deceased’s face. During the funeral, friends and family wishes to see the face of their loved one for one last time to say their final goodbye. Moreover, people rarely pay attention to the legs and feet. Seeing their loved one sleeping in peace may help the friends and family to heal and gain closure. Also, the legs are covered, so attendees at the funeral do not get distracted by the type of shoe placed on the feet. Love and connection are expressed through the face and eyes, and seeing the face of their beloved helps them connect during the farewell. Moreover, the appearance of the deceased evokes strong sentiment during the farewell. So, if the face appears calm and peaceful as if asleep, it helps the living to grieve faster, knowing their loved one is at peace.
Feet Swells And Shoes Don’t Fit
So many things happen to the body when a person dies, and one thing in common is that parts of the body start swelling. Embalming helps the body fight swell, but the body’s shape drastically changes, including the feet. And it’s challenging to put shoes on a deceased’s feet, so they put socks instead. For this reason, the legs are covered with a blanket.
The Condition Of The Body Or Cause Of Death
If your loved one dies during a tragic accident or suffered any lower body trauma, the funeral director might recommend covering their body from the waist down. This is done to prevent drawing attention to the damaged body parts, as it can be challenging for the deceased’s family members to process the death of their loved one, and it can be painful for them.
Whatever the cause of non-natural death or if their legs have been removed due to illness, displaying their flaws can be disrespectful and distracting during the funeral service. So, it’s best to cover them. In such cases, it’s plausible that a funeral home or director will recommend a half-couch casket so that the prime focus is on the face.
Moreover, depending on the cause of death, if half of the body is not presentable for viewing during the funeral, it’s reasonable that they will cover the bottom half for privacy.
Skin Or Organ Donation
Sometimes, when the lower half of the body is covered, it can be due to organ donation, or the deceased has donated its skin. Some people donate their skin after death, and the skin tissue is usually taken from the lower body parts. So it’s natural that the body will be preserved, and half of the body will not be exposed.
To Avoid The Hefty Price Tag
It’s no secret that funerals are expensive, and when a funeral home pays attention to every detail from head to toe, the cost will be high. While the price may not be of issue for some, it’s not the same for all families. Moreover, more time and resources will be required to make the entire body look presentable, increasing the funeral service cost. Therefore, covering the lower half of the body is cost-efficient and saves time for the embalmer or the funeral director so that they can pay more attention to ensuring that the deceased look presentable at the top.
The Type Of Casket
Another reason they cover the legs in a casket depends on whether they choose a full-couch or half-couch casket. The difference between the two is that a full-couch casket is fully open, and the entire body of the deceased is visible. In contrast, the half-couch casket is partially open, displaying only the upper parts of the body.
However, half-couch caskets are widely chosen for several reasons so that attendees can focus on the deceased’s face.
Not all funerals are the same. There are various reasons they cover the legs in a casket. It could be due to non-natural death, trauma, or the family’s wishes. However, your decision to show the legs or not is a personal choice.