Author Topic: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned  (Read 8309 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2013, 03:34:28 PM »
I've told DH I don't want a viewing. Since I prefer to be cremated anyway, I really don't see the need in the added expense to him of renting/buying a casket just for the sole purpose of a viewing.  My paternal grandparents were cremated but had a viewing and funeral mass prior to the cremation. Now as they were Catholic I don't know if they just couldn't get a priest to do the funeral mass unless their body was intact at the time, I dunno. 

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violinp

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2013, 03:52:30 PM »
I've told DH I don't want a viewing. Since I prefer to be cremated anyway, I really don't see the need in the added expense to him of renting/buying a casket just for the sole purpose of a viewing.  My paternal grandparents were cremated but had a viewing and funeral mass prior to the cremation. Now as they were Catholic I don't know if they just couldn't get a priest to do the funeral mass unless their body was intact at the time, I dunno.

It used to be the case that cremations were considered "un - Christian" and thus they would not get a Christian funeral. Now, that has changed quite a bit - my minister grandfather plans to be cremated, for example.

To the OP: I cannot, for the life of me, imagine someone demanding to see a dead body. Asking if there will be a viewing, yes. But never demanding to see the body. That goes beyond the pale, and assumes that the deceased is in a condition to be viewed by the general public. I understand that some people feel they need that kind of closure, but there are times when that just is not possible, and those people, if they are not complete boors, will accept that.
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camlan

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2013, 03:54:22 PM »
Trying to put this as delicately as possible, but given that the nature of the death wouldn't allow for an open casket, doesn't the "friend's" request sound awfully ghoulish? As if they wanted to see the injuries?

The norm in my area is open casket. The only times I've been to a funeral with a closed casket have been when the death was due to a traffic accident or combat injuries, when an open casket would simply not have been possible. That's the feeling I'm getting from the OP, and I would be really bothered by a "friend" who insisted on viewing the deceased.
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DollyPond

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2013, 03:56:03 PM »
My boss died a few months ago.  He was very much beloved by all of us employees and I did not think (I knew) that I could not bear seeing his body in an open casket.  Fortunately, the family had him cremated and the visitation was just that - visiting with the family and reminiscing over photos and personal mementos.  It was very nice not to have to deal with a body.

One of my former co-workers who went to the visitation at an earlier time called and left a message at my house while I was at the later time visitation session.  She was wildly ranting about how "That was the strangest wake I've ever been to!  There was bo casket!  There was no body! How are we expected to say our goodbyes?????"  I guess she was planning to have a big drama production of wailing and crying because she was the most favorite employee?  ::) ::) ::) And that is something she would do.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 03:59:06 PM by DollyPond »

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2013, 03:58:57 PM »
I've told DH I don't want a viewing. Since I prefer to be cremated anyway, I really don't see the need in the added expense to him of renting/buying a casket just for the sole purpose of a viewing.  My paternal grandparents were cremated but had a viewing and funeral mass prior to the cremation. Now as they were Catholic I don't know if they just couldn't get a priest to do the funeral mass unless their body was intact at the time, I dunno.

It used to be the case that cremations were considered "un - Christian" and thus they would not get a Christian funeral. Now, that has changed quite a bit - my minister grandfather plans to be cremated, for example.

I know the Eastern Orthodox church forbids it, as a friend's BIL was Greek Orthodox and was cremated by choice so their priest refused to do the funeral liturgy.  That was about 14 or so years ago but according to friend they still technically forbid it, or it's up to the parish priest. 
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

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2013, 04:02:01 PM »
A family friend was beaten to death; he had to be identified by fingerprints. His family had a viewing, and we were met with a whispered warning, "They did the best they could."
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violinp

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2013, 04:05:59 PM »
Trying to put this as delicately as possible, but given that the nature of the death wouldn't allow for an open casket, doesn't the "friend's" request sound awfully ghoulish? As if they wanted to see the injuries?

The norm in my area is open casket. The only times I've been to a funeral with a closed casket have been when the death was due to a traffic accident or combat injuries, when an open casket would simply not have been possible. That's the feeling I'm getting from the OP, and I would be really bothered by a "friend" who insisted on viewing the deceased.

When my grandma died, her body was not discovered for a few days, and her body was in the state that a body normally would be, having not been preserved. Therefore, we did not have the casket open. Her own sisters had the unmitigated gall to ask my mom why the casket wasn't open, and my mom was forced to tell them the disgusting truth. They acted shocked, but later Dad told Mom, "I know they enjoyed hearing that stuff, especially about her." (Grandma and her sisters had a very contentious relationship, and, ironically, they were not speaking to each other over a fight about family burial plots)

So, yeah, I can believe even family pulling a stunt like that.
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Sharnita

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2013, 04:57:59 PM »
FWIW, my Grandparents were both cremated and then my parents' (but not grandparents') priest had memorial services for them.  We later took them "home" for burial in the the plots they had bought much earlier.  The priest had no issues with the fact that they hadn't themselves been part of his parish or that they were cremated but I think he was relieved that we had no desire to have an urn or anything at the memorial service. 

I do have an interesting story about people reacting to not seeing the deceased.  A few years ago a fellow teacher died in a tragic accident at the beginning of vacation.  Teacher's spouse opted for cremation (and in Michigan if you don't cremate in the first say or so they require embalming even if you will eventually cremate).  Any teacher has accident, dies, is cremated in a very short amount of time.  Because cremation allows more time for a service the spouse simply announced there would be a memorial service some time in the future.  Suddenly coworkers were speculating there had been foul play, that's why the cremation - why was spouse so afraid of letting people see deceased teacher? ::)  Frankly, I think people had been watching too many procedural cop shows.

Cami

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2013, 05:22:50 PM »
When my grandmother died, we had a closed casket, which is our family's very firm custom. At her funeral, in walked two ladies who had lived in my grandmother's neighborhood before she had to go to assisted living. I recognized them immediately and equally quickly remembered my grandmother's distress that these two good friends of hers had never come to visit her even one time, even after she'd called repeatedly and asked them to visit. (My grandmother was perfectly lucid until she suddenly died of a heart attack, she was in assisted living to help manage a chronic condition.)

They walk up the coffin, then whisper to each other. A moment later, they turn around and approach us. "EXCUSE US! We want to see her."

Us: "We are having a closed casket."

Them: "But we want to see her."

Us: "We are having a closed casket."

Them: "Open it up so we can take a peek and say good bye."

Us: "We are having a closed casket."

Them: "But we want to see her!"

My aunt: "Then I guess you should have gone to visit her sometime in the last five years!"

Me: laughing silently.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2013, 05:31:20 PM »
When my grandmother died, we had a closed casket, which is our family's very firm custom. At her funeral, in walked two ladies who had lived in my grandmother's neighborhood before she had to go to assisted living. I recognized them immediately and equally quickly remembered my grandmother's distress that these two good friends of hers had never come to visit her even one time, even after she'd called repeatedly and asked them to visit. (My grandmother was perfectly lucid until she suddenly died of a heart attack, she was in assisted living to help manage a chronic condition.)

They walk up the coffin, then whisper to each other. A moment later, they turn around and approach us. "EXCUSE US! We want to see her."

Us: "We are having a closed casket."

Them: "But we want to see her."

Us: "We are having a closed casket."

Them: "Open it up so we can take a peek and say good bye."

Us: "We are having a closed casket."

Them: "But we want to see her!"

My aunt: "Then I guess you should have gone to visit her sometime in the last five years!"

Me: laughing silently.

Good for your aunt!

Iris

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2013, 06:49:31 PM »
Thanks guys. I tend to be a 'give people the benefit of the doubt' person - probably part of my aversion to conflict. When they were talking about this I was trying to think "Well, maybe viewings are common where they come from" but even then the demanding tone seemed off, so I thought I'd bring it to you all.

For those who sent their well wishes, thank you. Her family is doing their best to get on with their lives, which is good to see. They managed to get her husband to counselling which did him a lot of good. My own loss and grief are nothing compared to her family's and even other members of my own family who saw her daily and shared everything with her, so at this stage my role is supporting them. I will say etiquette hell really helped in that I was able to see more clearly when things were really NOT about me, but rather about others who needed me, and when it was okay to let go a bit.

It also helped me in that I didn't get up and brain the woman who carried on a loud conversation, including laughing loudly at her own funny anecdote, right up the front of the large church as the grieving family were escorted in for the funeral.  :-\ Although if looks could kill I would have seen a LOT of people commit murder right then...
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Starchasm

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2013, 12:27:42 AM »
Good grief.  Open casket funerals are very common here, but it would still be unimaginably rude to try to strongarm grieving family into letting you dictate the type of funeral they would have!

Anyone else reminded of Grandma Mazur?

SO GLAD it's not just me!!!

kherbert05

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2013, 07:26:56 AM »
The woman was out of line. The fact that this death as probably in the news due to the accident makes her more of a ghoul in my book.


Only close family has leeway to ask for a viewing. My parents hated viewing and Dad's sister was of the same mind set. Mom siblings needed to see her. It is the norm in their culture, and due to having to book international flights were unable to get down here after she took a turn for the worse. So we arranged for a private viewing for them. They understood that sis and I did not want to be a part of that (especially knowing how Mom HATED viewings).
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2013, 08:45:31 AM »
Good grief.  Open casket funerals are very common here, but it would still be unimaginably rude to try to strongarm grieving family into letting you dictate the type of funeral they would have!

Anyone else reminded of Grandma Mazur?

SO GLAD it's not just me!!!

LOL! And I'm so glad you said that! :)  Especially when someone mentioned a guest trying to pry off the lid.  It's funny when a fictional character like Grandma Mazur tries that sort of thing.  Not so much in real life!
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

Two Ravens

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Re: Announcing "I want to see her body" - Death mentioned
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2013, 01:41:45 PM »
I've told DH I don't want a viewing. Since I prefer to be cremated anyway, I really don't see the need in the added expense to him of renting/buying a casket just for the sole purpose of a viewing.  My paternal grandparents were cremated but had a viewing and funeral mass prior to the cremation. Now as they were Catholic I don't know if they just couldn't get a priest to do the funeral mass unless their body was intact at the time, I dunno.

As of 1997, the RCC allows for cremated remains to be present at a funeral mass. It was not allowed before this.