To visit my dad in the chapel of rest


New poster here. I lost my dad suddenly to a heart attack 15 days ago and I am still drowning in thick grief emotions. Anger, shock, sadness, disbelief. Life just isn’t fair.

I came across this forum which looks supportive and understanding and I was hoping to get people views and experiences of visiting the chapel of rest?

I’ve got the opportunity to go either today or tomorrow (ive been guided against going after that) and I am still unsure.

I managed to get with him just before the paramedics stopped their efforts so I held him then and said some goodbyes (albeit in a real state of shock). I didn’t think I’d go to the chapel of rest as it’s not something I’ve done or considered before, but I’ve since spoken to a couple of people who said it gave them comfort including my dads partner who went on Friday and said he looked peaceful.

Please share your experiences? I just don’t want to regret my decision either way

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I spent two and half days with my partner at the chapel of rest from when they released her for viewing till the closed casket for funeral.

I found it helped me through funeral and gave me quiet time I needed with her.

My birthday fell on one of those days, so it kind of made me feel I got to spend one last birthday with her

The other reason I stayed from opening to close - my first ever experience at chapel of rest - was it seemed so sad that she was lying in a room in an open casket all by herself and I just couldn’t leave her there alone

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I’m sorry for your loss.

I lost my lovely Dad just over nine months ago. My dad died shortly after a cancer diagnosis. I was with him in the hospice as he took his last breath and I immediately knew that I wanted to see dad in the chapel of rest. When dad died I knew that he had gone but I felt a strong urge to see him again and make sure everything was in order.

My brother who is 6 years older didn’t feel the need to see dad in the chapel of rest, but he came with my mother and I to provide support.

The first time I saw dad in chapel of rest he looked very peaceful but it didn’t feel like he was there, for me, it felt like I was just looking at my dad’s body. For some reason seeing the coffin with dad’s name on it upset me more. I only stayed five minutes the first time.

I visited twice more with the final time being the day before the funeral. I was able to put a letter i had written in his shirt pocket which was important to me as he had something from me with him.

My dad is my world and of all the things that I have found traumatic (cancer diagnosis and his death) the chapel of rest isn’t something that I often think of. It was the right decision for myself to go and visit.

I hope you find some peace with your decision.

Take care.

@RBG There are mixed experiences regarding the chapel of rest. For me, the hospital had kept my Dad too long due to paperwork delays so when it came to visiting the chapel of rest, I didn’t think it looked like him. I touched his hands, which felt like marble & his face. I am glad I went though because he was out of the hospital environment & I felt he was safe with the funeral directors. They were all lovely & so sincere which helped. It was a difficult experience tho & I sobbed throughout. Take someone with you or ask the funeral director to go in with you. Despite my own experience, I’m glad I went. X

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Thanks all for your experiences. I decided to go this afternoon as I didn’t want to regret not going. It didn’t look like my dad. I think as it’s been a while. It felt very strange. I couldn’t even bring myself to touch him. I just brought a chair next to him and spoke to him without really looking which brought some comfort. I’m now trying to get that vision from mind and just focus on all the happy memories. I think I would have still thought I should have gone if I didn’t go, so in that respect I think I am glad I went. Time will tell x


Glad you went. It’s something if you don’t do, you regret… and there again, other people go and regret it. Hope it does bring a little peace. Thoughts are with you. I went to see mum and was so pleased I did. xx

I losted my mum suddenly and like you went through all the different emotions. I wasn’t sure about visiting my mother in the Chapel of rest, but I’m glad I went in the end . I took my cousin with me for support which I’m glad I did because my mother died on 28th of June I didn’t see her till 4th August because of all the delays.
She didn’t really look like mum or how I remember her, but I got to say goodbye and touch her hand and face which were really cold , the whole room was cold , I didn’t stay for long but the time I did was nice and I talked to my cousin about her . I think if I hadn’t gone to see her I would have regretted not going. I hope you go but the decision is up to you.

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