Author Topic: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned  (Read 8492 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2013, 09:09:26 AM »
Anyone else reminded of Grandma Mazur?

I'm so sorry for the loss, and for her son. That has to be hard enough without having to field wildly inappropriate requests such as this one!!

My family always had open caskets for funerals and after having seen 3/4 grandparents laid out (I wasn't able to get home for one of them) I've come to realize that it really is better to remember them as they were, not as they are.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

squeakers

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2013, 09:42:40 AM »

My family always had open caskets for funerals and after having seen 3/4 grandparents laid out (I wasn't able to get home for one of them) I've come to realize that it really is better to remember them as they were, not as they are.

I lost my father when I was 7.  My last memory of him was him lying peacefully in his coffin.. finally out of pain.  My parents had been divorced for years at that time so I had only seen him once that year: in the hospital about a month before he died.

I cherish that memory.  I have so few of him.

But.. I personally don't want an open casket.  I want to be cremated. I figure if people can't say good-bye to me before I go.. then they don't need to say good-bye when I am not there anymore. That and I am vain and want them to remember me with that fuzzy lens time gives people (I will always be Squeakers, the little 4 year old with big ears and a brain to match, to some of my siblings.)

So I agree that the lady demanding to see was being rude. If she was a close friend or relative.. she could ask but it feels wrong to go against what the family had decided on especially in a culture where viewings are not common.
"I feel sarcasm is the lowest form of wit." "It is so low, in fact, that Miss Manners feels sure you would not want to resort to it yourself, even in your own defense. We do not believe in retaliatory rudeness." Judith Martin

Just Lori

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2013, 10:06:20 AM »
"We will not be having an open casket.  Please respect our wishes."

I have attended plenty of open casket funerals, but my immediately family doesn't do them. This is definitely the family's decision, and it absolutely should be respected.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2013, 11:19:43 AM »
Leaving aside the fact that she said twice what *she* wanted (which really was a demand to see the body) this is a situation in which the notion that "it's not rude to ask" does not apply.

bopper

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2013, 12:22:03 PM »
"We will be having a closed casket memorial/funeral/whatever on March 17 at 10:00 the XYZ funeral home."

DottyG

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 12:27:45 PM »
Quote
they were caught at the funeral home between the visitations trying to open the casket

My jaw just hit the desk.  Sadly, though, I'm not completely surprised having heard and seen some of the other things people do out there thinking that it's perfectly ok to do.


bah12

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 12:37:07 PM »
I think that the friend could have asked "Is there going to be a visitation/viewing?" and it would have been completely appropriate.  Saying "I want to see her" is not.

As for the response, "we're not having a viewing, the funeral will be on X day at Y location" is all that's necesary.

LazyDaisy

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2013, 12:53:32 PM »
Like weddings, funerals just seem to bring out the special snowflake in some people. I think her demand was very rude. It doesn't sound like she was even that close to the deceased or the family. I agree with LeveeWoman, this is a situation where it is rude to ask. She tried to make it all about her.

At my grandmothers funeral, we had a private viewing beforehand in a side room for immediate family only. There was a family prayer and to say a few private words, and my grandfather placed some mementos inside the casket with my grandmother. Then we closed the casket and escorted her as a family into the chapel for the general funeral. That was our goodbye.

At the funeral, guests did come up to the casket to place a flower on top or just spend a moment beside, but one lady actually tried to open it. Thankfully the casket lid was locked down. It was so shocking and disrespectful to us and the impression it gave was that her grief and wishes were so much more important than ours. As far as I know, she just went to the same church as my grandparents but wasn't a close friend or anything. I know it's not true, but if she had succeeded, it would have felt like she "undid" our goodbye.


I know it's a bit morbid, but there is/was (it hasn't been updated for a while it seems) an advice column called Ask Judy and another called thecheckoutline.org both by Judy Bachrach. It's like Dear Abby but all about end-of-life issues, the dying, deaths, funerals and what comes after http://www.obit-mag.com/viewmedia.php/prmMediaTypeID/297

edited to fix the web address
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 12:55:32 PM by LazyDaisy »
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DottyG

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 01:22:46 PM »
Quote
but if she had succeeded, it would have felt like she "undid" our goodbye.

That makes total sense.  I can see how it would feel like that.


JoyinVirginia

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 02:16:47 PM »
I live in eastern USA, protestant denomination. the wishes of the deceased,.if they had pre planned their funeral, take precedence. Otherwise up to the family. Many funerals I have been to have open casket at visitation and right before service. Some have closed casket. Some are cremation with an urn and photos of deceased at the front of the room. Sometimes very close friends or most people do think their wish to publicly grieve, or to have closure, should trump what the family or deceased wishes are.
The friend was very insensitive, esp knowing that in your area open caskets are rarely done.

LibraryLady

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2013, 02:24:46 PM »
I didn't even want to see my father in his casket, but mother grasped my arm and said let's go see daddy.  I kind of blurred my eyes  - my younger sister and I were at the hospital when dad died and I much much to the nth degree preferred to remember him as he was.

To this day, I do not or try not to see the deceased as they lay in the casket.  It is a shell of the person - their spirit is gone and memories are the best or photos.

sparksals

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 02:47:15 PM »
I didn't even want to see my father in his casket, but mother grasped my arm and said let's go see daddy.  I kind of blurred my eyes  - my younger sister and I were at the hospital when dad died and I much much to the nth degree preferred to remember him as he was.

To this day, I do not or try not to see the deceased as they lay in the casket.  It is a shell of the person - their spirit is gone and memories are the best or photos.

Me neither.  I saw my grandmother in casket and my DH's best friend who died WAY too young and way too needlessly.  That is the last picture I have in my mind of both of them. 

This is why I refused to see my dad when he was in his casket prior to cremation.  My mom wanted to see him, but my sister and I both declined.  We prefer to remember him as he was. 

Such a personal decision for everyone.  Because of my memories of seeing DH's best friend, I will refrain from viewing the open casket for anyone from now on.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 02:56:24 PM »
Open casket funerals or viewings prior to the funeral are very common in my area. And there are instances where a family will decide to not have a viewing or open casket but a close relative or friend might want the opportunity to say goodbye so would contact the family and ASK if they would be ok with them going by the funeral home to say goodbye privately.

I'm really hoping this woman's request was just a poorly communicated request and not a demand upon the family.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 03:23:25 PM »
In my area of NE Pennsylvania open caskets are very common.  It's become less so with people born after a certain time frame.  However, this lady was so far over the line that I'm not sure she could see the line with the Hubble space telescope.

The wishes of the deceased (if known) are paramount.  After that, the family gets to make the decision.

Margo

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 03:29:48 PM »
I think that the friend could have asked "Is there going to be a visitation/viewing?" and it would have been completely appropriate.  Saying "I want to see her" is not.

As for the response, "we're not having a viewing, the funeral will be on X day at Y location" is all that's necesary.
POD.
you said it much more concisely (and apparently much more clearly!) than I managed to.