The tough decision of whether to view the body of a loved one is one of the hardest decisions you will ever face in your life.
This decision is so hard to make because whatever route you take, the consequences are going to be for the rest of your life.
Viewing the body of your deceased loved one could print a permanent image in your mind that you may one day want to forget but have no way of forgetting.
The decision not to view the body of your deceased loved one could also have lifetime regrets where you regret not having viewed your mom one last time before she was taken away from you forever.
But which among these two decisions is the right one?
I’m pretty sure right now you are overwhelmed with emotions after the loss of your loved one. Making the decision to view her body or not seems impossible.
That is why I am writing this article.
Should I View the Body of a Loved One?
My Story of Viewing Mom’s Body
Back in 2014, I was faced with the same dilemma that you are facing right now. I remember standing a few meters away from my mother’s casket not knowing whether to move closer and view her body or stay away.
Part of me wanted to view her body but my feet could not move any closer to the coffin. Eventually, I never viewed my mom’s body on the day of her burial.
I had viewed her body briefly two days before when we went to pick her body from the morgue. I didn’t take time to look at her because I knew I would have another chance.
When the coffin was closed and my mom was lowered into a six foot grave, I had a weird regret not having looked at my mom’s body one last time.
But it was too late…
I struggled for considerable period with the fact that I didn’t view my mom’s body on her burial day. I felt there was a void that wasn’t filled.
I learned hard lessons from the experience and that is why I am writing this article today to help you avoid the same mistake.
I’ll structure this article in terms of the lessons I learned and what you can take from it.
Viewing the Body of a Loved One is good for you
Viewing the body of a deceased loved one is not easy. Her image lying in the coffin will stick with you for a very long time. This may make it hard for you to overcome the grieving season but on the flip side, viewing your mom’s body will help you release inner pain.
When you are grieving, you hold up most of the emotions. Part of the reason is because you don’t want to mourn wildly. But holding up emotions of grief is not healthy for you.
For you to heal faster from your loved one’s death, you need to release the emotions of grief. The best way to release the emotions of grief is by viewing your loved one’s body.
Have an Aide when viewing the Body of your Loved One
When you view the body of your loved one, you can’t tell what will happen. Some people only shed a tear while others collapse.
The degree of the weight of what happens to you is largely determined by how close you were to your deceased mom and how much grief you were holding in.
Read Also: How to Help Dad after Mom’s Death
When you have someone by your side, you can be sure that if anything happens, someone can help you out.
The sight of your loved one lying in a casket can paralyze your entire body. Your knees can lose strength and you may even forget the breathing rhythm. That is how heavy the sight of your loved one in a coffin can be.
Even if you are scared that you may collapse, don’t shy away from viewing your deceased loved one’s body.
Don’t Fear other Mourners
I feared other mourners who were viewing my mom’s body. I was a teenager and I thought that viewing of the body is reserved for adults.
As a result, I postponed viewing my mom’s body until when it was too late. Don’t make the same mistake.
Even if other mourners are around your loved one’s casket, request some alone time to view the body. Chances are that you will be given priority because you are a close relative.
In fact, other mourners will be very supportive in letting you spend as much time as you want with your deceased loved one.
Standing next to your Loved One’s Casket Viewing her Body
When you finally gather the courage to view your loved one’s body, make sure you take your time. If you have very strong emotions, you will be tempted to back off immediately your eyes land on your mother’s body.
But unless you have spent sufficient time to look at your loved one’s body, you will feel as if you never viewed it at all.
When we were at the mortuary, we didn’t have much time to view the body; I glimpsed at my mom’s body and walked away.
I could barely remember any detail a few seconds after viewing my mom’s body. I rushed it and it was not good.
Make sure you pay attention to the details when viewing your loved one’s body. Do it the same way your loved one used to pay attention to details in your life.
Having Closure on viewing Body
No matter how much time you spend viewing your loved one’s body, once you walk away, you will feel it was not enough.
In reality, it is never enough to view your loved one’s body. Who wouldn’t want to give mom a million goodbyes when you know it is the very last time?
That is why it is important for you to put closure to the matter. Once you have spent some good time viewing your loved one’s body, walk away telling yourself that was the very last time I saw my mom’s body.
Fix it in your mind as early as you can that you will never see that sweet face of mom again. There is no other way of getting over viewing your loved one’s body other than consciously deciding to put it to an end.
You may struggle to stick to your resolve at first but whether you like it or not, you must stick to it.
It is terrible if loved one is buried when you still haven’t resolved in your mind that you will never see her again.
Should I View the Body? Conclusion
By all means, try and view the body of your loved one. It is the last honor you can give to your mother. Don’t shy off no matter how scary it seems.
Once you have viewed her body and put closure to the matter, you will have an easier time healing than if you don’t view her body.
Sorry for the loss of your loved one and may God comfort you!