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What is a funeral viewing?
A viewing is where close family and friends gather for a private moment with their loved one. The viewing often takes place before the service in a private room of the funeral home, but it can also be held at your home if you wish.
A viewing can be a shared experience, or you might request some one-on-one time to say goodbye. You can also choose to have an open or closed-casket viewing, depending on what you’re comfortable with.
It’s important to know that viewings are entirely optional. Your Funeral Specialist can follow your lead and accommodate any wishes, like playing your loved one’s favourite music while you say goodbye.
How viewings can help you say goodbye
The thought of attending a viewing can feel quite confronting. But this time of reflection can be incredibly powerful for healing and moving forward. Grief experts say that a viewing can help lessen the likelihood of disbelief and denial, one of the initial stages of grief we may experience after losing a loved one.
If they died in a hospital or somewhere unpleasant, it can help to see them in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
Most importantly, viewings give us the chance to say the things we didn’t get to say while they were alive. Things like “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, or “I forgive you” can bring closure, acceptance and peace.
Who should attend the viewing?
While the funeral service is generally a more public ceremony with extended family and friends, the viewing is often a more intimate moment shared by immediate family and close friends. Sometimes, it’s only the partner, children or parents of the person who’s died that attend.
If you’re unsure if children should attend the viewing, in our experience, children often respond better than we imagine. They need closure too, and sometimes seeing their loved one can help them understand what’s happened and begin to process their loss.
Planning the viewing
We’re here to make sure you and your family have a special moment to say goodbye. We’ll work with you to organise a meaningful, comfortable viewing, including any personal touches, such as music or photos. If you’re not sure if a viewing is right for you, your Funeral Specialist can help you decide.