What is a Funeral Viewing?

Funeral viewings offer those who remain the opportunity for one final face-to-face farewell. But they aren't for everybody. Read on to learn more about this long held tradition.
What is a Funeral Viewing?

A funeral viewing is where the deceased is presented in an open coffin or casket ahead of the funeral service. Funeral viewings are not a mandatory component of a funeral service but provide close family and friends with the opportunity to see their loved one, one last time. Funeral viewings usually occur at the funeral home, but may be performed at the family home if preferred. Most funeral homes charge an extra fee for a viewing so this is worth keeping in mind.

Funeral viewing or no funeral viewing?

The decision to arrange and attend a funeral viewing is a deeply personal choice. When deciding whether or not  to include a funeral viewing, it’s important to consider what is right for your loved one and their family. When preparing to attend a funeral viewing it is important to ask yourself whether seeing your loved one’s body will bring you closure or whether it will negatively impact the way in which you will remember them?

What happens at a viewing?

As compared with the very public nature of a funeral, a viewing is usually a small, private affair with only close family and selected friends. Families often utilise a funeral viewing as a special time together with music and catering. Alternatively, If you prefer, you could ask the funeral director for some one-on-one time with your loved one. 

How much does a viewing cost?

In addition to the viewing fees imposed by most funeral homes, it is important to acknowledge that bodies require embalming prior to their display. Embalming fees can be as high as $1000 or more, a significant factor to keep in mind. Additionally, the price of a double-lid casket is often significantly more than a single-lid coffin or casket. 

Should children attend a viewing?

‍There can be some uncertainty around whether it’s responsible to bring children to attend a funeral viewing. Experts have found that children are often more resilient than we expect when it comes to the death of a loved one. By excluding them from attending a funeral viewing they may feel left out. If you decide to include your child, it is important to clearly explain the process so they are prepared when attending the viewing.

Wrap up

If a burial funeral or viewing is not right for you or your family, there are many other ways in which to say your goodbyes and celebrate the life of your loved one. A celebration of life ceremony or memorial are wonderful ways to pay your respects and often include scattering of the ashes. Willed offers prepaid, as well as ‘at need’ direct cremation. If you would like to discuss our cremation fees and services, please contact us on 1300 945 533 or alternatively visit our website at www.willed.com.au.

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