Man in grief

The End: Managing Grief and Saying Goodbye

At first glance, there seems to be little to no reason to hold a viewing right before a funeral. It delays the burial and can cost quite a bit depending on where you’ll hold it – and finding a place to hold a viewing can be tricky enough in itself.

Indeed, a lot of funerals often tend to skip the viewing entirely and settle for the wake, either for practical or religious reasons. But science and psychology have shown that there are a lot of benefits to holding a viewing before a wake. Here are some of them.


While it may seem morbid to the casual observer to have the deceased lying for days in public view, studies have shown that a viewing can help with a crucial part of the bereavement process. Particularly, with the acceptance that the person is, in fact, gone.

In today’s tech-centric, fast-paced world, news of a death can often start and end with a single phone call or a social media post. This tendency to let the news just settle in without any closure at all can slow down the grieving process, and in worse cases can even trivialize someone’s passing away Now understand that this isn’t the fault of the deceased or anyone in general – it’s just the general trend that our society is leaning towards.

Viewings are a way for the mind to process that the person is gone, and are a healthy way to taking the first steps to coping with grief. This is especially crucial when the loved ones of the deceased are far away at the time of death and could not be there when they pass on. Not holding a viewing and going straight to the wake or funeral can seem disingenuous, robbing them of their right to grieve at the side of someone they knew so well.

Helping Funeral Arrangements

There are also times when viewings can actually serve a practical purpose: paperwork. When a person dies, there can be a lot of paperwork to sift through – particularly, things like insurance and death benefits. Funerals can be quite expensive (which is why cremation across the country, from Calabasas to Clearfield, is becoming a more popular choice) but there’s also the financial aspect of the people the deceased left behind to consider.

Holding a viewing can help the deceased go through the paperwork required for their loved one before they embark on the traditional process of hosting a wake and funeral. Most chapels and funeral services can be trusted to hold the viewing in a respectful and orderly fashion, helping the family of the deceased to deal with the paperwork that needs to be done bind the scenes.

Viewing Things Differently

Positive outlook

While we don’t like to think about the logical aspect of death, it is something that we all need to face once someone close to us has died. Taking care of these requirements isn’t a sign that we’re running away from grief: it’s a signal that we’re taking care of the deceased with dignity and respect.

Overall, holding a viewing can be a healthy and helpful way to process a tragic moment in one’s life. Whether it’s by helping them gain closure or a little more time to process the legality behind the deceased, it’s a practice that can do a lot of good at very little effort.

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