About the viewing

The viewing can be held either at the funeral home, or at the family’s house and may be private or public. It’s up to you whether you’d like a viewing or not. Some families claim that the viewing helps the reality of their loved one passing sink in, allowing them to begin the process of mourning their passing. We understand that this is a very personal and difficult decision and we aim to accommodate the family’s decision.

A viewing offers a chance for families to come together and share a special time together as they bid their loved one farewell. This can include sharing a drink or some food together or playing a favourite song. Some families like to place small mementos in the coffin such as a goodbye letter, photo, or a favourite possession of the deceased.

Whatever you decide, this moment is about how you and your family wish to say farewell. During the viewing, the deceased will be dressed for service and presented in their coffin or casket.
 

How can a viewing be helpful?

According to grief experts, there are many cathartic benefits to having a viewing. These include:

  • Giving you the chance to see your loved one not in pain and outside of a distressing clinical setting, such as a hospital.
  • Seeing the person helps you process the reality of what happened and lessen any feelings of denial or disbelief – especially if the death was unexpected.
  • Having the opportunity to say a personal goodbye or share something that went unsaid can help give you a sense of closure.
     

What if the body is injured?

If the body of the deceased has been injured, there are a couple of options available for those who wish to have a viewing. Some families choose to simply have the coffin closed at the viewing with sitting next to it can be a source of comfort. Alternatively, you can have any injuries bandaged or covered so that the coffin remains open. Your funeral director can let you know the options available.
 

Should children attend a viewing?

It’s understandable that parents would be uncertain whether their children should attend a viewing.

If your child will be attending a viewing, it’s important you prepare them for what they’ll see and what to expect so they are prepared. Some children also like to draw a picture or write a letter to include in the coffin.
 

Your viewing options

Holding a viewing has become a valuable tradition for people of all manner of cultural and religious backgrounds. To learn about what viewing options are available, please speak to one of our funeral directors by calling (08) 9388 1623 and we can walk you through the process. This would also be a good time to decide whether you’d prefer to hold the viewing at home, a church, chapel, or one of our beautiful funeral homes.