Seeing loved ones in chapel of rest

I buried my mum yesterday. Because of the lack of gravediggers where I live, we had to wait over 5 weeks for her funeral. The funeral home contacted us the day before the funeral and said we cd go and see her, they said she looked beautiful. I queried this given that she had passed on over five weeks ago, I asked how she had been preserved and they explained about temperature control. I asked them to confirm that she looked ok. Desperate to see my mum one last time I took the snap decision to go and see my mum in the chapel. It’s the worst decision I’ve ever made. Without going into detail, she looked absolutely terrible and I had to run out of the room. You may say I was a bit stupid going to see her after she’d been gone so long and I would probably agree with you. Now all I can think of is how she looked then and the funeral became an ordeal for me rather than a poignant farewell. I have nowhere else to share this experience but here, sorry.

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So sorry for you to hear this.
I saw my partner 4 times
Once the most tragic as paramedics tried to save him .
Twice at the hospital very quickly after he had gone.
The most beautiful was at rest in the hospital he really looked lovely.
However I saw him at the funeral directors and I ran away , but I built up courage to go back … because it was just his space ship . He has gone on to better things. For me it gave me closure of the full truth he wasn’t coming back. Not easy to see but I think it was required for me anyway and I wanted to do my best by him. I pray your true memories of your mum will reignite in your heart :heart:

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Thank you for sharing this, it was helpful. I also went back in after I ran away, I felt I couldn’t have the last memory of my mum running away from her. But I had to keep my gaze away from her face and I just stroked her legs and her hands. I told her I loved her and just wanted to say goodbye again. I’m trying to change the way I remember it, hearing stories like yours help. Thank you xx

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@Dylis hey, so sorry for your loss. I had to wait a month to bury mum too, but I couldn’t face the chapel of rest. Try and remember your mum as you see her in your mind. I have some great memories of mum and they’re the pictures I always remember and think of.

You did the right thing, I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it. Sorry for your loss too xx

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I had trouble seeing and remembering my husband when he died. The image wasn’t good
I had to wait 6 weeks for the funeral beacause of the post mortem
I put a favourite photo as a screen saver on my phone, and after a few weeks the image of him after he died faded.
While he was in the undertakers I would go and sit with him every week.
Just being with him was enough, but I only actually glimpsed him once.
I didn’t but like it but I’m glad I did, because I would have wondered forever if I should have done it.

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Thank you, that’s very reassuring, thank you for sharing. I also did it for the best of reasons, for her not to be on her own. I’m going to do what you did and put a picture on my phone. I do need to get rid of that image.

Yes do try that.
Every time you open your phone you will see a beautiful image of your Mum.
It worked for me, although when I put it on it wasnt for that reason, but after a while I realised I wasn’t seeing the bad image in my mind anymore.
I hope it woeks for you too

Big hugs to you x

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I saw Steve the day after he died at the hospital. He looked so sweet, all the lines of pain were gone from his face. I cried and called him My Poor Baby.
Then I saw him him in the chapel of rest about 3 weeks later after he had been embalmed. He looked very different, but I saw him and sat with him 5 times. Put letters, cards and photos in his coffin, stroked his hair and talked to him. After 5 weeks he looked bad and I didn’t go again.

Thank you so much, that has helped a lot x

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Thank you for sharing that, I appreciate it very much. I saw mom less than an hour after she died and that upset me very much. It’s a unique and indescribable feeling to see someone you love dead. But seeing her after five weeks was shocking in a very different way and not good. I don’t want to blame the funeral home as I decided to see her when they said she looked ‘beautiful’ but I wonder if they should be a bit more careful in their advice. I can’t understand why they said that, I just can’t. It’s all very raw as it was only yesterday but it’s so on my mind,instead of focussing on the lovely sendoff we gave mom. It’s a shame. Love to you and everyone x

I looked after my terminally ill husband at home, he died
in our bed,I kept him for 4 days before funeral director came and
collected him.during that 4 days,I washed him, brushed his teeth,
combed his hair,trimmed his beard and got him dressed
in his favourite shirt.
Before deciding how long I could keep him,(I wanted him to be still
there for my younger son to be home) I seeked for some advide from
the funeral director, and also from internet. I think I did well, and I could
observe myself what change happens to the body after death.

Yet, when funeral director came, he said he was actually a bit concerned
about the condition of the body after 4 days.He told me only after.
When I asked him first, he said “as long as you feel comfortable with”
I also asked the nurse who arrived after his death, how long body stays
flexible before going stiff, she said 10 hours, which wasn’t true at all
(I should have looked online,but didn’t have energy for that)
this resulted some struggle when tried to change him.

I have the feeling they don’t really tell you clearly these things.
Maybe because these things are everyday thing to them-?
So, when I was asked if I wanted to visit to the chapel, I said no.
Because it was almost 3 weeks after death and I really wasn’t sure,
even with temperature control etc.

To me, keeping him home for 4 days helped me to
let him go. My way of saying goodbye.I feel everyone needs
some way to say goodbye, and I’m sorry yours had to be that way-
Me too I am waiting these images to be replaced by the ones
from happier times.x

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Thank you for sharing this. I think you were right not to go and see him after three weeks. Yes we have to work on ourselves to keep good images in our memories. These things are so hard and death is a harsh teacher I have found. Nobody knows what to do or how to react x

I couldn’t face going to see my mother, grandmother or my aunt. I wanted to remember them as alive. However, I was with my mother in law when she died, and found my father in law dead in bed. They both looked peaceful and asleep. I couldn’t go to the funeral directors to see them after that as I was too scared to see how they would look, and also wanted to remember them as I’d last seen them.
I think you have to do what is best for you as we are all different. Some people may want to prove to themselves that our loved ones are actually gone or they won’t believe it. I’m sorry some of you have horrible memories, but I love the idea of a treasured photo on a phone. Just keep looking at that and remember them as happy, alive and smiling xx

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A lovely way to think of the body. I was with my husband at home when he died. He looked peaceful as when sleeping. My husband was forced as a teenager to see his dad’s body before the funeral and he was totally traumatised so we agreed not to do that. I feel his presence , he’s never far from my thoughts.

Your dear husband was right. I’m trying hard with the pictures on the phone, but often it just makes me sad thinking she didn’t know how she would end up looking and she would have been horrified. So it’s still hard, especially in the mornings. I’m going to seek help for it, to nip it in the bud before it turns into something worse like depression. The sadness about mom is one thing to deal with but this is quite different and it has made it ten times worse.

i didnt see my husband after he died as the hospital didnt allow people to the morgue and i had pure cremations but i saw two of my friends after they died and am glad i did. one of them her grandson had put fags in one hand for her. i lived quite a way from my dad when he died but on the day of the funeral i went to the funeral home and asked if i could see him. so glad i did. the only one i didnt see was my grandson who had been in the sea 2 days ebfore he was found and the home advised me not to. if you dont go you would only regret it.

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The idea of the body as a space ship, a vessel is lovely. A temporary shell. The spirit goes on somewhere else. So it doesn’t matter what the shell is like. Your mum is there in spirit with you. Pleas seek help if the images persist, my husband struggled for years with the image told very few people . Sending you a hug x

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Thank you xx I had already seen her after she’d just died. My reasons for going back again seem incomprehensible now and I’m beating myself up about it. Thanks for you kind words though x

Oh that makes me think I should get help, I don’t want to feel like this long term. Thank you for your words x