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Should I visit my dad at the undertakers?

(81 Posts)
Retreatbynameretreatbynature Mon 23-Oct-17 20:05:07

My darling DF passed away, two weeks ago, after a horrendous battle with cancer. I was with him when he died and then saw him again the next day. His funeral is next week and I am not sure if I want to see him once more at the undertakers beforehand. I feel that it is such a personal thing and I am sure everyone will have different thoughts but I am worried that if I don’t see him I will always regret it. But, equally, I’m am really scared that it may be so hard to cope with and I am already having to be strong for everyone around me.

ASqueakingInTheShrubbery Mon 23-Oct-17 20:08:20

I saw my dad, and I'm glad I did. He looked more like Dad than he had in his last days in hospital. He'd got his suit on, and his hair brushed. He didn't look alive but it wasn't scary. He did look peaceful.

Sorry for your loss flowers

sonlypuppyfat Mon 23-Oct-17 20:09:41

My poor lovely dad didn't look like my dad at all

MrsDc7 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:10:32

I wouldn't. We went to see my Grandad and he looked odd and smelt like flowers - it just wasn't him at all and it upset us all to see him like that. If we could do it again, none of us would go and see him there. I'm so sorry for your loss xx

RefuseTheLies Mon 23-Oct-17 20:11:07

I didn't see my mum. I don't regret it at all.

So sorry for your loss flowers

LaChatte Mon 23-Oct-17 20:12:10

I really regret seeing ExDH after he'd been prepped by the undertaker (it was fine before that, he just looked peaceful), it felt like something out of Psycho.

LittleCandle Mon 23-Oct-17 20:13:05

I didn't see my mother after she died, on my DB's advice and there are times I sorely regret that. I was afraid that she wouldn't look like my DM. I saw DF a short while after he had died. He was still warm. He didn't look like my dad, but he hadn't looked like my dad a couple of days before that, either. I didn't see him again. I didn't feel the need.

I'm afraid the only person who can make the decision is you. My deepest condolences to you on your loss.

3littlebadgers Mon 23-Oct-17 20:13:28

I saw dd2 a week after she had died. I was terrified that she would look different. I asked the undertakers to be brutally honest with me before I went in. He said she was beautiful and she was. Her colour looked better than it did just after her death. I look back on that last time with her with so much fondness.

I am so sorry for your loss and I hope whatever you decide to do, it brings you peace flowers

AveEldon Mon 23-Oct-17 20:13:50

What have the funeral directors said?
My partner & I saw his mother again and they advised against it and we had to sign a disclaimer before hand
It was okay for us

Do you have someone who will go with you?

Mum2jenny Mon 23-Oct-17 20:14:22

I didn't, but I did see her alive within the previous 24 hours before her passing. My dsis saw her after death but before the undertakers were involved.

DorothyGherkins Mon 23-Oct-17 20:15:27

I didn't go to see either of my dead parents. Never had any regrets, the person I knew and loved was gone - I didn't see the point. Everyone is different.

Hassled Mon 23-Oct-17 20:16:51

I didn't see my mother, and I did see my father. And weirdly I think I coped better with the loss of my father. It was horrible seeing him - really upsetting - but I could tell that he'd gone, and I think long-term that was helpful. With Mum I struggled to accept she'd gone for a very long time.

But that doesn't mean it'll be the same for you, or anyone - if you're not up to it and think it will be too upsetting, just leave it. You have to do whatever it takes to just get through the days. I'm sorry for your loss.

SelmaAndJubjub Mon 23-Oct-17 20:17:20

Sorry for your loss flowers

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. My DB and I were with our DF when he died. I chose not to see him again as I wanted that to be my last memory of him. I have never regretted that choice. OTOH, DB did visit him at the undertaker's and was pleased that he did.

I have seen a lot of people who have died, because I'm an HCP. I would say that everyone looks peaceful and not at all frightening or upsetting, but not everyone looks like 'themselves', which can be a bit disconcerting. If you have a comforting last memory of your DF, for example of seeing him released from pain as he died, there is no reason why you should regret not seeing him again.

Mivery Mon 23-Oct-17 20:17:21

First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss OP.

I think this is just something you need to come to terms with on your own. If you feel like you need to go, go. If you think you might not be able to handle it, don't feel any guilt about it. This is all about what you need to do to grieve.

SciFiFan2015 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:17:30

I saw my Mum aged 8 and all I remember is her feet weren’t quite right.
I saw my Grandma as an adult (my mum’s mum) and while it was upsetting I’m glad I did it. It didn’t look like her anymore but in a good way as this meant that who “she” was wasn’t tied to the physical body. I’m not religious but that is probably the closest to faith I have been since I was 8 and lost it.

Finola1step Mon 23-Oct-17 20:18:36

I chose not to see my Ddad. He passed away quite suddenly and I had spent the day with him just a couple of days before. We had had such a lovely time that I chose to keep that as my last visual memory of him. It was a deeply personal decision and I do not regret it for a moment.

The only person who can decide is you. I'm really sorry for your loss. flowers

bigbluebus Mon 23-Oct-17 20:18:39

As you say, it is a very personal decision. I saw my DF at the Chapel of Rest, but only because DM wanted to go and she wanted me and DB1 to go with her. DB2 didn't go because he said he wanted to remember DF as he was the last time he saw him alive. As far as I'm aware DB2 doesn't regret that decision.

When DM died, DB1 asked if I wanted to go and see her. I didn't. Whilst I didn't find it unpleasant going to see DF, I didn't really feel that it reconciled me in any way. I had not been with either DF or DM when they died.

When DD died, we were with her as she took her last breath. We said our goodbyes at the hospital, helping to wash her and change her clothes. We didn't really feel the need to go and see her again at the Chapel of rest or to have her transferred to the special suite in the childrens hospice. We had said our goodbyes at the hospital and the final goodbye at the funeral was the next step for us.

As you say, it is all a very personal decision and for me it was different with each person. I don't regret any of my decisions as there would be little point, I can't change them now.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Whatsforu Mon 23-Oct-17 20:19:33

As you say its an individual choice. I was with my dad when he passed and went to see him at the undertakers.I wished I hadn't as my dad had gone it wasn't him. Haunts me to this day to be honest.

wtffgs Mon 23-Oct-17 20:21:13

I did see my Mum at the funeral home. It was so much nicer than seeing her stone cold in the morgue the day she died. My youngish nephew picked some flowers to put in her coffin.

I like the fact that my last sight of her was in a dress she loved, her hair styled and a bit of subtle make-up applied. When I saw her at the morgue she was a hospital gown - much less like the vibrant, complicated mum I'd known.

No one on here can tell you what's right for you, though. It's a completely personal decision. brew

RapunzelsRealMom Mon 23-Oct-17 20:21:23

My sympathies OP.

I saw my dad but a couple of weeks after his death (unexpected then post mortem).
It was important to me to see him but I almost wish I hadn’t. The funeral director warned me that he would have changed a bit, but I still wanted to go ahead.

There was ‘pooling’ of blood in his extremities - his hands and ears had started to go purple and his nose a little too, plus his nostrils had changed shape. He just looked different and, to be honest, I felt scared.

I saw another relative a few days after his death and it was calming for me, however, I wouldn’t recommend it after two weeks. However you must do what is right for you.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Mon 23-Oct-17 20:22:40

If you do, please go with someone. It's not scary, but it's nice to have someone with you. I didn't see my df, my DM didn't want to go, I don't regret it. I did with my DM when she passed, my dsis came over before the funeral and she wanted to. It was peaceful, we brushed her hair, sprayed some of her favourite scent, we talked to her. It gave my dsis a sense of being with her one last time.

Fekko Mon 23-Oct-17 20:24:44

I didn't see mum or dad. I'm glad I didn't - siblings did and says that they looked awful (not horrible but just very ill). They weren't there, if you know what I mean.

Jogel Mon 23-Oct-17 20:28:32

Sorry for your loss OP. I would also say to speak to the funeral director. My Dad died of cancer, myself and my Mum were with him when he died, and we asked for him to be left at home for a while afterwards so we could spend time with him. His funeral was 10 days later, and my Mum suddenly decided after a week that she wanted to see him again. The funeral director was very sympathetic and explained that it wouldn't be a good idea.
I think this wouldn't be such an issue if funerals could take place in a more timely manner.

GerrytheBerry Mon 23-Oct-17 20:28:46

I lost my partner to cancer 16 years ago he was so poorly in the end and didn't look like himself at all.
I deliberated for ages as to whether to go see him in the chapel of rest and I'm so glad to did, he looked perfect, just like he was before he was ill, no idea how they did that but it was so dignified. And I got time to sit and say what I needed to say.
So sorry for your loss. I would go.

BiglyBadgers Mon 23-Oct-17 20:29:28

This is such a personal thing, I'm afraid you are the only person who can say. However, you shouldn't feel guilty of it isn't something you want to do.

I didn't see my mum as her illness and treatment changes her face and looks so much at the end of her life I didn't want to remember her like that. However, I think there are other circumstances where I could gain a lot of comfort from seeing the body at peace as it were.

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