When discussing arrangements with funeral homes in Michigan City, IN., you may be asked if you would like to hold a viewing of your loved one before the funeral service. These services are also called visitations and are very commonly held with traditional funerals. While having such an event can provide many benefits for friends and family of the deceased, you still may be unsure if you should have one. To help you decide, let’s look at what this event consists of as well as some of the benefits.
What is a Viewing?
First, let’s talk about what a viewing is and how it compares with a visitation. There are some similarities between both of these services. For example, both events take place before the funeral service, and are shorter, more casual, come-and-go style events. The main difference is that with a viewing, the body of the deceased is preset and with a visitation, it is not.
With a viewing, the body of the deceased will be presented in a casket that has an open top. Guests who attend will come in and offer their condolences to the family. The guests will also have an opportunity to approach the body, if they wish, and say their last goodbyes.
There might be punch and cookies or other light refreshments served. Guests tend to stay for a shorter time and the dress is typically more casual than that of the actual funeral service and burial.
How Viewings Help Us Heal
Holding a viewing can provide many benefits for the living that are left mourning the loss of the deceased. It helps friends and family confront this new reality and begin the healing process. It does this in a few ways including:
- Allows for Closure– Many people have a difficult time really accepting that someone is gone. This is especially true if the passing was sudden. Being able to see the body of the deceased can help face this fact and allow people to start to feel closure.
- Social Support- Being surrounded by friends and family at this difficult time is so important as people grieve. Having others that to connect and share these emotions with can go a long way in helping combat feelings of isolation and depression.
- Opportunity to say Last Goodbyes– While not everyone will feel comfortable approaching the body, those who do can find it very therapeutic. Being able to physically see the loved one and whisper last goodbyes or any other final messages to them can aid in feelings of comfort.
Things to Consider
Having a viewing is an entirely personal decision. When deciding if you would like to have one, take into consideration you loved one’s wishes. Did they make it know that they did, or did not, want one?