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How a Viewing Can Help Heal

How a Viewing Can Help Heal

The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult and emotional events a family can experience in life. Rituals that bring together family, friends and community to share in grief, such as funerals and memorial services, are important events that help people accept the reality of loss and help begin to heal.

When families choose cremation, they have the option to hold a public or private viewing before cremation services take place. Although the idea of seeing someone in their state of death can seem too hard to bring oneself to do, it is actually one of the kindest things a family can do for themselves.

What is a viewing?

A viewing, visitation or wake can be a formal or informal gathering of family and friends before the cremation takes place, typically the day before services are held. The deceased is dressed and placed in an open viewing casket or cremation casket in a private room. During a private viewing, close family can spend time paying their respects and saying goodbye to their loved one. A public viewing allows friends and people from the community to visit, show the family their support, and pay their final respects.

A viewing is an opportunity to say your final goodbye in the presence of your loved one and is a time to extend comfort toward those who you’ve gathered with. Visitation hours allow guests to come and go between a set amount of time.

The benefits of a viewing

It’s not uncommon for people to feel nervous before attending a viewing, and for this reason, some families choose to not have one. But in over sixty years of helping families through loss, we have rarely had a family regret choosing to view their loved one before final disposition.

It may seem counterintuitive, but viewing a loved one after they’ve passed in a serene setting aids in the healing process. A person perceives the world around them through their five senses, and seeing and touching a loved one who has died allows the person to experience the reality of the death, making it easier to accept what has happened. This doesn’t mean viewing is easy. It can be extremely difficult. But it will also prevent an unnecessary and extended grief process.  

Just as a viewing can aid a family in their grief, it has the same impact on friends, coworkers, and members of their community. The opportunity to witness and accept an individual’s death and to say their own final goodbye will help bring acceptance, closure and comfort in the long-term. While this may seem painful on the surface, many families we serve express relief after a loved one’s viewing, a testament to how important the event is in the healing process.

Participating in Cremation Services

At Miller-Jones Mortuary & Crematory, families have the option to have a small private viewing directly before cremation services take place. If they choose, family members can walk with their loved one in a private procession to the cremation retort. We also allow family members to help guide their loved one into the machine and start it. This intimate participation provides a comforting ritual to family members, giving them the opportunity to be there with their loved one until the very end of their time on earth.

The staff at Miller-Jones can help you plan a meaningful viewing prior to cremation, and guide you through every step of the process, making sure you and your family have all your needs met. Reach out to one of our locations in Hemet, San Jacinto, Menifee, Perris, Moreno Valley, or Murietta at (951) 658-3161. There will always be someone to answer your call.