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Deciding whether to go to chapel of rest

(19 Posts)
MrsAlwaysRight Sun 13-Jul-08 20:41:10

Hi All,
I'm after some help on behalf of my DP. His mum died on 4th July and the funeral is on Wednesday. He is struggling to decide whether to go and see her at the chapel of rest. He was with her when she died and feels that he has said his goodbyes but is torn as to whether to see her one last time. When she died she had lots of tubes going in and out and I think in some way he would like to see her without all of that. He is finding that when he remembers her he is thinking of her with all the tubes in. Although I don't know if the reality of seeing her in chapel of rest will be any better.
I was hoping if you don't mind would you share your reasons for choosing whether or not to visit your loved one in chapel of rest so I can help him decide.
Many thanks in advance

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 20:43:48

it's really difficult, and sympathies to your dp and to you...based on what you've said I would say no, gut reaction really sad Hope funeral is bearable

Waswondering Sun 13-Jul-08 20:44:58

I was with fil when he died last year. Dh and I did visit him, though the coffin was closed. For me, I wanted to see the coffin and know what it looked like before I saw dh carrying it into the church. Does that make sense? I did find it weird to think fil was in the coffin, having been at the bedside for the 3 days or so before he died.

Only he can decide but thinking of you.

Waswondering Sun 13-Jul-08 20:45:43

Sorry - should have said he died in hospital with tubes and things it too. Sorry for your loss.

unfitmother Sun 13-Jul-08 20:45:55

I went to see my Dad with DH, he looked cold, very dead and had make up on his nose.
I saw him in his bed where he died and whilst he looked dead, he didn't look as bad.
I wouldn't have taken dcs who also saw him in his bed. It wasn't a good memory but wasn't bad either, the undertakers do make an effort. He looked more dignified, in his suit in the coffin than in his bed with his eyes open. sad

Probably wasn't much help was I?hmm smile

LovelyDear Sun 13-Jul-08 20:46:39

I didn't visit my mum after having been with her when she died (at home, so less medicalised). Tubes or no tubes, it was not a nice memory and it took a long time to fade, but it did and now it is replaced by mainly very welcome thoughts of how we were together when she was well. Truly. I would say the first year (in my case) was more difficult but 3 years on I'm generally fine, able do think of her quite happily. I'm so sorry for your DP as it is a hugely difficult life experience but surprisingly I found i 'grew up' as a result, which has been positive.

Friendlypizzaeater Sun 13-Jul-08 20:51:12

My GDad died and I didn't want to go but my sister did and wasn't brave enough on her own - I hated it - it was all wrong, his hair was the wrong parting, he'd had a stroke years b4 and was unable to use his right hand but in his coffin they had got this hand holding his left hand. When my Brother in law died a couple of years ago (he was 33) I went to see him and was so pleased - I gave him a kiss, stroked his hair and told him off for going, he looked so peaceful - I was glad of the extra time.

So sorry don't think I've helped much either.

Sorry for your loss.

MrsAlwaysRight Sun 13-Jul-08 21:34:31

Thanks for all the speedy replies smile I think my main concern is that although he saw her when she had just died I worry that what he will see if he does go to chapel of rest will be even less like her and won't be a pleasant way to remember her. On the other hand if he doesn't go will he regret not taking the opportunity to say one last goodbye?

Hassled Sun 13-Jul-08 21:37:10

I didn't see my mother, but did see my father. I talked to him - it was a lovely, real goodbye, and I've always regretted that I didn't have that time with my mother.

policywonk Sun 13-Jul-08 21:41:05

Sorry for your situation. Have you or your DP spoken to the funeral directors to see what they recommend? My mother died recently and we had to wait eight days for her funeral; after about six days the funeral directors told us that it might not be a good idea to see her as her condition had deteriorated (sorry to say this, hope you don't find it too upsetting). She died from cancer, and apparently the nature of cancer medication often speeds up the process of deterioration.

Anyway, it might be worth seeing what they say if you haven't already. Hope your DP gets through the next few days relatively OK.

lucyellensmum Sun 13-Jul-08 21:44:08

I am sorry for your loss. My experience tells me he should go, but i think it can be hit and miss. I saw my dad when he died, he looked terrible no other words to describe it. Then we went to see him at the hospice chapel of rest and it was awful beyond description - it looked like a different person. A week later i went to see him in the chapel of rest and i was so glad i did because he looked like my dad again. The lady asked me if i wanted to be alone with him, my feet didn't touch the ground, i was frightened for some reason I regret that bit.

idontbelieveit Sun 13-Jul-08 21:57:26

My Grandma went to see my Grandad and i think it helped her, although not with him when he died, she was with him when he collapsed and lost consciousness and it helped her to see that he was peaceful rather than in pain.

Minniethemoocher Sun 13-Jul-08 22:04:39

I am sorry for your loss. My Dad died last year and although I saw him in the hospital shortly after he had died I also saw him in the Chapel of Rest, mainly as my Mum wanted to see him and I couldn't let her go on her own. As I had already seen him dead, it didn't really make any difference and wasn't too traumatic.

They normally make the body look very presentable and peaceful.

tori32 Sun 13-Jul-08 22:16:40

So sorry for your DP's loss. I go to the chapel of rest when the person suffered in life i.e. my grandad died of cancer and looked peaceful at the chapel. My friend however, was young,vibrant and only 18yo when she died in a horse-riding accident, so I didn't go to see her.
I think if the time you saw them before or just after death they look in pain, tubes etc it is a relief to see them at peace.
It is a very personal decision though. sad

MrsAlwaysRight Sun 13-Jul-08 22:19:06

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me, it is most appreciated. I have never been in this situation myself and this will be the first funeral I have ever been to as well so don't feel very confident trying to help him come to the right decision and your replies have given me an insight into things he needs to consider.

DP hasn't spoken to Funeral directors about going to chapel of rest since they discussed it on Tuesday so I don't know if they would still recommend it now almost a week later.
I'm going to discuss it in more detail with DP and hope that whatever decision he makes he is happy with. Thanks again.

LittleMissMolly Thu 17-Jul-08 08:21:36

I'm sorry for your loss

As well as being a Mum, I'm a Funeral Director...

In cases like this where a loved one has been in hospital and surrounded by machinery and tubing, I usually recommend viewing in the Chapel to the relatives - it somehow seems to give some relief to see the deceased at peace and without all of the medical paraphenalia.

The Funeral Director will be your H's best guide to whether any changes have taken place that may be distressing, so discuss it with them first - they WILL be honest, but discreet, about how she looks and whether they think that viewing is going to be upsetting because of appearance.

mummypud Thu 17-Jul-08 08:40:53

we sat around my dads bed for 3 days , we all said goodbye just that one last time about 20 times , just grasping every chance we could , he died at home so this wa sslightly easier hosp i guess than if he had been in hospital . it sounds strange but i looked forward to going to see him at the undertakers as i missed him so much that i just wanted to be close to him again , to touch him and say goodbye again . yes he was very cold and looked so small , but ata least he looked peacefull , i am so glad i went better than always wondering , we each took something to go in the coffin with him along with his comb etc , was quite theraputic.

evansmummy Mon 21-Jul-08 21:50:35

I'm gutted I didn't see this message before - I went through exactly the same questions about going to see my little brother only a few weeks ago. I did go in the end, and I'm glad I did. He looked much more like himself than he had in the hospital, although not ecatly like himslef. Weird to explain. But I am glad I went, I would have regretted it.

Obvioulsy it's too late now. I hope your dp did what was right for him.

Love to you both xx

MrsAlwaysRight Tue 22-Jul-08 14:10:29

In the end he didn't go. His Dad went and spent a few hours with her but said to my DP that she looked quite different as she was anorexic but whatever they use had plumped her face right up so she looked quite different.

We discussed it and came to the conclusion that he had already said his goodbyes and that as she looked different would his last memory of her be any better than seeing her with tubes etc in at the hospital.

The funeral was on Wednesday and so far he seems happy with his decision not to go.

Once again thank you all so much for replying with such honesty it really helped.

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