Jessie sat upright on the chair. I didn’t want to stand by him.
“He’s your brother, Mary. Do as I ask.”
“Dad, Jessie’s got rice on his face!”
“It’s okay. We’re gonna take one picture.”
Jessie didn’t complain, but the rice on his skin started moving. He smelled bad, too.
Photographing deceased relatives was a common practice during the Victorian era. Portraits used to be prohibitively expensive—many people could only afford to purchase a portrait once in their lifetime. Portraits honored the deceased and helped the living manage their turmoil, or grief.
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