If you are preplanning your final arrangements, you may be wondering what services you would like to have. While most people will choose to hold a funeral service, many will also choose to hold a viewing. If you are not familiar with what a viewing entails you may be unsure if you should have one. As directors of funeral homes in Martensville, SK. we understand that this can be a difficult decision so we are going to explore these events in more detail to help you better decide.
What is a Viewing?
A viewing is an event that is held typically the day before the funeral service. It is a more casual affair than the funeral and guests come and go at their leisure within the designated time. For example, the event may be held from 2:00pm – 4:00pm with guests coming and going at their own pace during that time. The guests will use this event as a chance to offer their condolences to the grieving family as well as have the opportunity to approach the body and say their final goodbyes.
Is the Body of the Deceased Present?
Typically, with viewings the body of the deceased is present. It will be in the room in a casket. Most often the top lid of the casket will be open so that guests can see the deceased. Some viewings may not have the body present, and in those cases, the event is called a viewing.
When and Where is the Viewing Held?
Viewings are most often held in the afternoon or evening before the funeral. It can be held at the funeral home, church, or even a family member’s home.
Reasons Families Choose to Hold a Viewing
While every family may have different reasons for wanting to hold a viewing for their loved one before the funeral, there are some benefits that viewings can provide to all families. Some of these benefits include:
- Helps start the grieving process – When a loved one passes away, it can seem like a dream or as if it’s not real. While this is a way for our minds to cope with the situation at first, we need to acknowledge the reality of the passing to begin to heal from it. The viewing allows us to do this.
- Share memories of your loved one – The viewing is a wonderful opportunity to hear others share their favorite stories about your loved one. It’s also a lovely time to display various pictures or items of your loved one with a memorial tribute or display. This gives guests a chance to learn even more about your loved one.
- Gain support – Losing a loved one is painful. It hurts, and it brings feelings with it of loss, confusion, sadness, anger, and more. Having a viewing and being able to connect with those who are also grieving this loss can be extremely helpful in letting you feel supported and loved. This can go a long way in the grieving process.