Well, as an Irish-Catholic, I can remember how so many of people during my childhood thought it was weird that we had wakes with the dead body on display. We didn’t think anything of it; in fact, it made us very aware of life and death.
A good wake reminds you of the history of the person and his/her influence on our lives. It is also important to see a dead person to be able to say your goodbyes.
I don’t know how old the other children were at the time, but being around their parents while their parents were with them alone, to explain the death of the baby, would be an important thing for the family. Frankly, this applies to any member of the family, too, in the event that someone passes.
Ditto. The funeral home people were in a state of shock as we all gathered around my Dad’s open casket, pulled out 12 shot glasses and a bottle of Black Bush and knocked one back in honor of a fine Irish gentleman. They had my Uncle Joe laid out in the parlor for 2 days. We never thought anything about it.