WHY IS VIEWING OF THE DECEASED SO VALUABLE TO THE FAMILY & FRIENDS?
First, we must consider how we were raised. Every person was taught from infancy that the polite and proper thing to do was to say two things: "Hello" when we meet someone and "Good-Bye" or "Bye-Bye" when we departed their presence.
Second, we acknowledge contact with another person in many ways dependent upon the culture. Our tradition in the US is to shake hands, give hugs, etc. to acknowledge another person.
Third, when we leave the presence of another person we shake hands, give hugs but most importantly we say "Good-Bye" just as we were taught as toddlers.
Fourth, when someone dies suddenly, the family and friends have a basic but very distinctive human need to say "Good-Bye".
- Viewing of the body provides the family and friends with the confrontation that death has in fact occurred - seeing is believing.
- Without viewing it can be difficult for the family and friends to persuade their own mind that their loved one or close friend is gone. These mind sets of denial can cause a person to continually expect their deceased loved one to someday "just walk through the door."
- Viewing the body is a very special time that allows the family and friends to begin the transition into their new life. That new life is continuing to live onward without the presence of their loved.
- Viewing provides a time for family and friends to say goodbye to the deceased in their own personal way.
- Regardless of the method chosen for final disposition of the body a public visitation can be of great help to family and friends in dealing with the grieving and mourning process. Viewing of the body should always be considered before final disposition.
- Open casket viewing is THE Most Personalized part of any funeral ritual or ceremony. Not having the body present at a funeral ceremony or ritual is like having a wedding ceremony without the bride or groom being present.
POSSIBLE OPEN-CASKET VIEWING OPTION WHEN DISFIGURING INJURIES OCCUR
In some situations the family of the deceased may wish to have open-casket viewing even following severe traumatic injuries to their loved one. In this case the embalmer will need to repair the injuries. This procedure can be referred to as post mortem reconstructive surgery. In some situations the severe disfiguring injuries may exceed the skill level of the funeral home staff. In this case the family may request that the funeral home contact an embalmer that specializes in post mortem reconstructive surgery to evaluate the injuries. If necessary, an outside specialist may be hired to restore the deceased to a viewable state. Exercising this option is often more desirable than closing the casket and never seeing a loved one again.