My client today, wanted to see his mother. I had just picked her up from the hospital, she was not yet embalmed, nor was she ready to be viewed. She was still in her hospital gown, lying on my stainless steel table. This was not the proper time, nor the proper way, for a loving son to see his mother.
I understood his need. Family members often ask to see the bodies of their departed loved ones before appropriate preparations have taken place. It is a difficult moment for the funeral director. Unfortunately, we must postpone their wishes until appropriate preparations have been accomplished. Our duty is to present a death image that will promote healthy healing rather than hamper it.
Often times, such a request is issued because the survivor was not present at the time of death. This particular request however, was issued due to unfinished business. This loving son, a man in his fifties, had let his mother slip away, without taking the time to visit her, during the illness that took her life. His carefree lifestyle and lack of responsibility will now plague him with guilt and complications, in healing from his mother’s death.
In this type of situation, the survivor feels that if they can see their departed loved one, they can make things right. This is unfortunately not true. Regrettably, this bereaved son will spend a great amount of time, trying to recover from his lack of sound judgment and irresponsible behavior during the final days of his mother’s life. I wish I had a cure for his pain; I do not.
To avoid such pain in your own life, prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have a loved one that is ill, please call them. Go by and check up on them. Express your love, appreciation and dedication before they slip away and the opportunity eludes you.
Unfortunately, I see all too often, families that forget to say those three important words, “I love you.”
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.