Young Widow Forum

Time Frame => Newly Widowed (1 day to 6 months) => Topic started by: CandiceS on April 07, 2017, 08:56:38 PM

Title: We had the viewing today....
Post by: CandiceS on April 07, 2017, 08:56:38 PM
I know you've all done it and you don't need to be reminded of it, but I wasn't sure where else I could post this. We went to the viewing today and i fought with myself for two hours about whether or not to go up to the casket and see him. Everyone kept saying how great he looked and how he looked like himself. I didn't realize they meant the way we dressed him. From far away he looked the same, just a little grey, so I decided to go put one of our necklace sets in his hand. I figured it would be better to remember him this way so my last memory wouldn't be of how I found him. He looked horrible. Part of his face was dark and it looked like they slapped him with a chalk eraser. I've never actually looked in the casket before, I've only gone to one viewing before this, but I thought they would've done a better job with the make up. I'd done pretty well with holding it together until that moment. I'm glad I waited until I was on my way out or I would've been a mess the whole time.
Title: Re: We had the viewing today....
Post by: Mrs.johnson on April 07, 2017, 09:30:42 PM
Tell me more about the necklace :)...did he give you the necklace??
Title: Re: We had the viewing today....
Post by: Julester3 on April 07, 2017, 09:47:31 PM
Yes the viewing is hard. I viewed him first and when the wake was over and everyone had left, I visited him once more and kissed his brow. We had a closed casket for the day of the funeral as is Jewish custom. The wake was very Christian because it was for those of us who are still alive and not Jewish so we could say goodbye and have closure.

I think you made a good decision on your part. I don't think the coroners can do that much better sadly, the body is embalmed and such and I know in my case, we had my husband's body go through Gift of Hope for tissue and bone donations so he was no longer my whole Josh as I had known him. It made it a touch easier to let him go seeing him like that.
Title: Re: We had the viewing today....
Post by: sojourner on April 08, 2017, 10:47:57 AM
Yes, the viewing is tough. And there really is only do much that can be done make-up-wise. Sometimes lighting is adjusted to help. But in the end, it'll be rough no matter what, because there's no escaping the fact that it's your love lying there. :'(

I was grateful that the place where LH had his services had a private family viewing beforehand. That did help in getting prepared for the public viewing. During the viewing hours, there was also a running video display of photos from his life. I know some people really appreciated that.  The next day was the actual funeral. He was cremated after the viewing, so it was just his creamation container and pictures of him in life for that.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort here as you grieve; we get it here. Peace to you.
Title: Re: We had the viewing today....
Post by: Julester3 on April 08, 2017, 11:13:39 AM
Thinking of you....hugs!
Title: Re: We had the viewing today....
Post by: HCE on April 08, 2017, 11:00:39 PM
This is such a difficult topic.

My wife died at home, surrounded by her family. After the moment she died I couldn't bring myself to look at her face. I knew I wanted to remember her as she was when she was alive and I didn't want the image of her lifeless face to remain with me. I sat by her bed while we were waiting for the funeral home to come and collect her. When they arrived, we retreated into the backyard. We just couldn't bear to see her being taken away.

It's hard to describe how that felt. I had been by her side every day of her eleven-year illness, and suddenly I found myself allowing perfect strangers to take her away to be by herself. After her body had gone I felt a strong urge to go to her and sit by her, like I had done a thousand times before, but I knew it would do no good. The next day, when we were planning the funeral, none of us wanted to organize a viewing. There was no discussion, and it appears that we all felt the same way. I can't explain that. It felt cowardly and cold, but I think we just knew she was gone.

It's terrible even to think about this, let alone write about it. Everyone's experience is different, and I can understand why people would find a viewing very helpful. Clearly it just wasn't for us.
Title: Re: We had the viewing today....
Post by: Monique on April 10, 2017, 08:58:07 AM
My in-laws and I wanted to do a viewing, and we did. No one was there when he died, so we all found out secondhand or via phone calls, and this was our last chance to see him. I thought it would bring me some closure, and I suppose it sort of did, but at the same time it was incredibly hard. I couldn't deal with the fact that he was gone. I didn't really look until the end either. The first time I tried, I collapsed on the floor. Half an hour later, I finally managed to go back there and look. He looked like himself, but when I touched him he didn't even feel like a person anymore. More like a wax sculpture. I remember his family telling me "He's not there anymore. That isn't him." And it was true. His soul has gone on to the next life; it's not in his body anymore. I'm glad that we had the viewing, but it wasn't easy. For those who didn't have one, I would say don't feel guilty about it. If it's more helpful to remember them alive, there's nothing wrong with that. Your loved one's soul has left this world by that point, and they're not going to hold it against you for not looking. We all have to make the choices that we believe will help us get through this awful time and honor those we have lost.