Loss of dad

Hi everyone i feel really torn…my mum and sister visited my dad today in the chaple of rest…i always said from the moment he died i felt his soul leave his body, like a massive sense of loss inside me, but now they have been and said dad looks so at peace, im wondering if i need to go? The thought of seeing dad again really scares me, and freaks me out tbh, but if i dont go i dont get to close that question?? Im in tears and i dont know what to do :pensive:

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Hi there, I went to see my Dad & it didn’t resemble him to me. I’m glad I went though because he was in the care of some fabulous undertakers. He was lying in a coffin, dressed in the clothes we chose & they’d done their best to make him presentable. I only went because he’d died in hospital & looked awful. I didn’t want that lingering memory. Only you can decide what’s best for you. One of my brothers came with mum & me, my 2 other brothers refused. X

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My personal approach has always been that I haven’t viewed loved ones who have passed since I was 18 as like you I believe the body is just a carrier for the soul/spirit etc, etc. Additionally I prefer to remember their faces when they were well. My auntie died aged 43 many years ago and my mum more or less pushed me into the Chapel saying she will just look like shes asleep… in truth she looked older than my Grandma. All that said, there’s only you can decide what you feel comfortable with. My partner died recently and I asked for her coffin to be sealed as couldnt bare seeing her instead I sat in the chapel next to the coffin and spent a couple of hours telling her how much i I loved her and asking her to help me somehow get over this. Xx

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Thanks for the reply @Cee we are also fortunate to have a very good undertakers, mum needed to see dad again to say goodbye, but i know once i see dad in the coffin it will change everything ive been doing to get over his death?? Im just scaref i may regret the descion ive made.

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Thanks for the reply @Leigh2 its such a hard descion, i think if i hadnt felt my dad leave his body id want to make sure he was gone and ok?? But 100% i did feel his soul leave…then the body was just empty? I feel my dad left that day, and i dont know if i want to be reminded of how poorly he got?? Its taken loads to be able to sleep at night without having the images of dad dying in my head?? Life is so crule. Im so sorry for your loss. I guess we just have to travel through this journey of grief…take care

Think you have answered your own question. I work with a lot of ppl at end of life and have had many experiences after they have gone that have reinforced my belief that the body is simply a carrier. Through my personal and professional experiences peopke do not look asleep when they are gone and it can retraumatise ppl. Take care and I’m sure your dad will be proud whatever decision you make. X

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Hi I understand how you are feeling, my dad passed away 3 years ago & I did visit him as I would have regretted not doing so. He looked very peaceful I gave him a kiss goodbye. But it’s entirely up to how you feel.

Hi Clarzie78,

My dad died of terminal cancer in November 2022. When Dad passed away in hospice I clung on to the fact that I could see him again in the chapel of rest and knew immediately that I wanted to visit him.

I visited the first time with my mum and brother. My brother wouldn’t have gone had it not been to offer support to my mum and I.

I very much felt that my Dad left his body when he died in the hospice. When he stopped breathing his essence was gone immediately.

When I visited Dad at the chapel of rest my Dad’s body was there but he wasn’t. I found it surreal and quite upsetting the first time as although he looked the same he was obviously different to touch. I visited twice more, the final time the day before Dad’s funeral and I put a letter I had written to him in his shirt pocket which was important to me. When I visited on these other occasions I referred to it as going see Dad’s body. His soul wasn’t there.

Since losing Dad I have had vivid flashbacks of my Dad in hospice in the final days but none of him in the chapel of rest. In terms of trauma the chapel of rest is not one of the things that has affected me the most and I rarely think about him being there, probably because “he” wasn’t.

I hope you are able to find some peace with whatever decision you make.


@Clarzie78 its a very hard decision and only can make it. I didnt go and see my Dad in the chapel of rest, i also didnt go and see him in end of life care, my thoughts were i dont want to remember him that way i want to remember him how he was the last time i saw before he went into hospital.
I wont lie i do have days when i wish i had gone to see him, maybe it would have given me closure, maybe it would have left me with awful memories, i’ll never know and i have to deal with the decisions i made at the time.

I guess all im trying to say is do what is right for you now. Sending you love :heart: