It’s 11 o'clock on a Tuesday morning. Usually at this hour, I’d be stepping out of my office for an absurdly early lunch, but not today. Today, I find myself leaning into my computer screen in the most isolated corner of The Atlantic's kitchen, hoping that no one stumbles in as I try to watch a stranger’s funeral over the Internet.
When Walker Posey invited me to view the funeral of his grandmother, Alta Marie, via webcast, I was stunned. I had already interviewed Posey, a fourth-generation funeral director, for this article. He shared his experiences and opinions about funeral webcasting with me, but I didn’t expect him to let me watch a funeral, let alone the funeral of one of his family members. I knew I had to say yes to his offer, but I wanted to say no. I felt anxious about being a voyeur, a foreign digital presence in an otherwise private family moment.