I expected the son, who had not been in favor of the viewing, to either not attend the ceremony, or if he came, to remain outside of the viewing room, demonstrating his displeasure that his sisters were hosting the event at all. This was not the case. In fact, the son showed intense participation in the ceremony and was very gracious with friends and family in attendance.
The decedent had been a member of a particular religion and had served his country during wartime. A prayer vigil and military honors were delivered at the close of the viewing ceremony to accommodate these two paramount aspects of his life. The son, who had not supported the viewing initially, received the flag representing the appreciation of a grateful nation, for his father’s dedicated service on their behalf. He was deeply moved over receiving such a significant symbol representing his father’s valiant honor.
This family left the funeral home after their services armed with the ability to recover from their grief without severe complications. They came together as siblings and extended family to observe and pay honor to their departed loved one. They allowed themselves one last opportunity to commune with their loved one before he was gone forever from their sight and presence. They touched him; they kissed him; they hugged him, and they said goodbye.
Grief Brief 104
Viewing is Beneficial
Mourners who fear viewing their deceased loved one may find excuses to dismiss the event as barbaric.
Research indicates that viewing the deceased is beneficial to the bereaved.
It offers evidence that death has occurred and that life will not miraculously return.
It also provides one last precious opportunity to commune with the decedent to offer and obtain any resolution which might be outstanding in the lives of those who remain living.
It pushes the survivor from denial into acceptance and allows grief recovery to begin.
(Mourning Light II, Tracy Renee Lee2016)
Viewings and visitations are paramount for grief recovery. They offer valuable opportunities for resolution and an opportunity to say goodbye. Traditional funeral services assume the accompaniment of viewings and visitations. When considering cremation, however, the benefits of this very important ceremony are sometimes overlooked. A family choosing cremation services should seriously consider their value before dismissing this important ceremony. Without it, they may find their grief experience severely compromised or hampered, and lose themselves in a complicated recovery scenario.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.