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Thoughts please... Because I can't sleep

(25 Posts)
Whattodowhattodooo Wed 06-May-20 01:43:19

Last Tuesday I lost my beautiful Nanny to this shitty virus. She's been in my life for 37 years. She was the first person to hold me when I was born. She helped my mum raise me (dad died before I was born). When she died I wanted to be able to kiss her goodbye and hold her hand. She was in a care home so this wasn't possible. Hadn't seen her for 6+ weeks when she died due to the home locking down even before the official lockdown.

My mum called me today to ask whether I wanted to go and see her in the Chapel of Rest. Due to the virus we didn't think this was even going to be an option, but apparently its OK. I have never been to a Chapel before. Even with previous family members as I've always wanted to remember them as they were, and not well (to put it bluntly), dead on a table. My initial reaction was no, but I have been churning it over in my head since I got into bed.

Will I regret it for the rest of my life if I don't go and say goodbye or ruin my memories of her by that being my last image of her?

I'm sorry it's a bit of a depressing thread but I just don't know what to do 🤷‍♀️

Opinions/experiences please? X

OP’s posts: |
ofwarren Wed 06-May-20 01:51:11

It's a tough one. Some people are glad they went but when my nan died, my mum says she wished she never went because she looked 'different'. They had done her hair and make up wrong and it really upset my mum.
I'm sorry for your loss flowers

Whattodowhattodooo Wed 06-May-20 01:53:50

Thankyou and thankyou for the reply. That's my main worry, her not looking the same and spoiling my wonderful memory of her, just can't shake the not saying goodbye bit though. I know technically she already has, but argghhh it so difficult!!

OP’s posts: |
caramac04 Wed 06-May-20 01:57:10

At 15 I regretted seeing my Nan and vowed never to do so again. However, many years later when my lovely, lovely Dad died, I did go to see him and I’m glad I did.

RainbowMum11 Wed 06-May-20 02:07:07

Personally I wouldn't.

I have been so close to my grandparents and other family who have died - I had the privilege of being with my Gran as she died, another time we were able to be with my Uncle shortly after he died and before the Undertakers arrived.

The one time I have been to a chapel of rest was to dress my baby daughter before her funeral. She died in my arms, but she really wasn't my baby girl, there in that coffin. I couldn't do it.

Whattodowhattodooo Wed 06-May-20 02:14:37

@RainbowMum11 😢 I can't even begin to imagine how painful that must have been. Sending hugs xx

OP’s posts: |
HarryHarry Wed 06-May-20 02:20:19

I saw my mum at a chapel of rest. I found it very hard to summon up the courage to go in and I hesitated at the door for a long time, but when I finally saw her, it wasn’t that bad. She looked fine really. And the experience didn’t affect my memories of her. When I think of her, I think of her as she was when she was alive, not how she was in the chapel of rest.

I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope you make the right decision for you.

IcyApril Wed 06-May-20 02:38:29

I’m sorry for your loss. It’s a very personal decision. I saw my grandfather at the funeral home after he passed away and it was quite a shock. I can’t explain but I walked in and walked straight back out - it was like I wasn’t in control of my body when I walked out. It must have been shock. I gathered my thoughts and managed to go back in.

DamnYankee Wed 06-May-20 02:39:57

No. Have lost friend and my Mom. Missed flight to see Mom (so sudden!). Brother said she looked ok, but was still aware of the "Y" lines the coroner did.
Friend looked like a swollen mess. And it was a really good funeral home...
If you are a really visual person, I would not.

So, so sorry for your loss.

TheUnquestionedAnswer Wed 06-May-20 02:42:49

My sister went to see my dad after he passed. She said he looked lovely, like the old dad we knew. So sorry for your loss OP x

DamnYankee Wed 06-May-20 02:43:17

In short, your memories are likely better. I'm sure you have some lovely photos? Put those up somewhere.Light a candle. Have a glass in her honor?

eaglejulesk Wed 06-May-20 03:10:57

We can't really give advice on this as everyone is different, and what works for one person won't for another.

My mother died suddenly in a rest home (care home) in February, and I made the decision not to go to see her at the funeral home. I wanted to remember her as she was when I had last seen her, the previous weekend. I have no regrets about this decision as I believe it was the right one for me.

I hope you find peace, whatever you finally decide. flowers

Thepigeonsarecoming Wed 06-May-20 03:18:44

@Whattodowhattodooo I sat with my DM when she died many years ago. This may sound harsh and morbid but the features change pretty quick, and it’s simply not them anymore. A part of me wished I hadn’t seen this, so no. Remember her as you loved her

Whatelsecouldibecalled Wed 06-May-20 03:19:22

Oh @Whattodowhattodooo I’m so so sorry flowers

I was extremely close to my grandad. I couldn’t decide either whether to go see him at funeral home. In the end I did. My thoughts were I had ole ty of photos and memories to ‘undo’ any unwelcome picture it might create. I also thought I didn’t want to regret not going And I wouldn’t be able to change my mind.

It was strange I’m not going to lie. I walked in room and had to fight every instinct to not walk straight back out. I stood in corner well away from him for a good 20 min before I could look or talk. But I did manage it in the end. He looked peaceful (after a long fight for his breath towards end of life) but did look different too. However for me this didn’t leave a lasting impression and I still remember him how he was alive.

Sending love

PurpleThistles84 Wed 06-May-20 03:19:37

I’m so sorry for your loss. I think this is a very personal decision that only you can decide. I went to the funeral home when my brother died and saw him in his coffin. I do regret it and I also don’t. It’s so hard to explain. I think I had to, to really accept he was gone.

My wonderful gran died very quickly. Similar in that she lived two doors away and raised us as much as my dad. I never got to see her before she died. She died whilst I was throwing on clothes and waiting on a taxi. I chose not to see her in the coffin and I am glad I didn’t. She was so full of life, the memories I have of her are of her love for us all and how larger than life she was.

Thepigeonsarecoming Wed 06-May-20 03:19:57

I should have added I’m so sorry for your loss x

TheVelvetOnion Wed 06-May-20 04:04:48

I'm so sorry for your loss

My mum died when I was 20 and I didn't go and see her which I've regretted ever since. My dad died last year when I was 36 and I decided to visit him at the funeral parlour. I'm so glad I did. He looked so peaceful and 'normal' not very ill like I remember him in the hospital. I'm happy to have that as the memory of the last time i ever saw him.

AmeliaTaylor Wed 06-May-20 04:16:30

My mum died when I was 22, I went to see her in the funeral home several times. I didn’t really care what she looked like or how it would make me feel, what I wanted was to kinda be with her and not abandon her if that makes sense. I knew that her being there for that week before the funeral was part of her and our story and I didn’t want to miss out on experiencing it ‘with her’ just cos I might have found it unpleasant. It was very weird, I remember clearly that she was so so still it felt almost like a practical joke, any second I thought she’d spring up and jump at me. It took a while to get close to her because of that sense I had that she would suddenly move. It’s very odd when you’re used to someone moving your whole life, your mum! And then they’re as still as a rock.

I’m so glad I went: better to regret something you did than regret something you didn’t do imo. We took some photos of my brother and I stood next to the coffin which I’m glad to have too as I don’t just have my memory of that day, I have a couple of pictures. She didn’t look anything like her. But she was my mum even so.

I’d always encourage someone to go and see how you feel, you can back out at any time, duck in and out again. I didn’t feel like I was saying goodbye as she clearly wasn’t there anymore.

heroku Wed 06-May-20 04:22:13

I think it really depends on the individual. Personally I've never done it and it's because I prefer to keep the memories of them alive as the most vivid ones. But then again I don't really find much solace in visiting cemeteries even though I know others do. They never really feel like "they're there" to me if you know what I mean. I like to have photos by my bed and sentimental objects in the house and be close to them in that way.

Oldmrswasherwoman Wed 06-May-20 04:29:54

So sorry for your loss. I can't sleep either. My F in L died similarly of CV in a care home - they'd locked down the beg of March so we hadn't seen him in weeks and weren't able to see him at the end.
It all felt a bit unreal as really we only had their word he was gone. The funeral home said due to the restrictions we couldn't see the body only the sealed coffin.

We decided not to go in the end, preferring to remember him how he was. He had dementia and even when we could visit he was not really himself. We had a photo montage at the funeral and putting together all the pictures of him when he was well was able to help me put behind me the all pervasive memories of what the dementia had done to him and focus on the good memories so if you do visit I don't think that last memory will be the one that sticks in your mind.

I hope you make the right decision for you. Both are equally valid. Whichever you choose it will be the right decision because you clearly loved your Nan and thats what counts xx

heroku Wed 06-May-20 04:42:39

And I should have said OP - I'm so sorry for your loss. My nan was like a second mum to me. My mum worked full-time so my nan picked me up from school every day and cooked my tea. I found it very difficult and isolating when she died. Most of my friends only saw their grandparents a few times a year and so didn't really understand why I was grieving so much.

So this is just to say that I understand flowers

Longdistance Wed 06-May-20 04:57:31

My gran and aunt had open coffins for their funerals (it’s a tradition where my dps come from). My gran didn’t look herself and my aunt didn’t either.
My father passed away three years ago, I went to see him just after he passed, but didn’t go see him in the chapel of rest. That was my decision and I’ve never regretted it. It is a personal choice.
Do what feels right for you.
Sorry for your loss flowers

Whattodowhattodooo Wed 06-May-20 07:21:37

Thankyou all for your experiences, opinions and thoughts. I think I am veering towards not going, but writing a letter and asking my mum to put it with her. I know she can't read it, but at least if I know she's got something with an explanation as to why I'm not there she won't feel as if I'm abandoning her. Once again, thankyou x

OP’s posts: |
heroku Wed 06-May-20 08:17:42

I think she would want you to do whatever you felt was right for you. I think a letter is a lovely idea xx

Oldmrswasherwoman Wed 06-May-20 09:23:08

A letter is a great idea - for FinL we asked the funeral home to put in with him a few items we thought he'd 'need' - drawings from the kids, a note from DH, a football scarf, his watch, wallet and cap.

Take a photo of your letter, you might not ever want to look at it again but you might want to remember what you wrote x

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