In movies when someone dies their eyes close or someone shuts their vacant eyes for them. It turns out that in real life, the eyes don’t naturally stay closed after death—like Rosalia Lombardo, the girl who died over 100 years ago but still appears to blink in her coffin.
So to prepare a body, funeral homes use a special technique to secure the eyelids shut.To see the eyes of the departed open and shut is understandably a little shocking, and it is much more comforting to view the deceased in a state of peaceful slumber.
Funeral homes use eye caps that are placed like contact lenses between the eye and the eyelid of the dead person. The lenses have little spikes on them to hold the eyes shut, and are domed to simulate the curve of an eyeball.
One mortician explained the process on Reddit:
The eyes usually start to flatten after death. Think of an old grape. They do, however, remain with the decedent. We don’t remove them. You can use what is called an eye cap to put over the flattened eyeball to recreate the natural curvature of the eye. You can also inject tissue builder directly into the eyeball and fill it up. And sometimes, the embalming fluid will fill the eye to normal size.