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Bereavement

What to do

(79 Posts)
Grandmadinosaur Tue 02-Mar-21 09:40:51

I lost my mum a couple of weeks ago. Sad as it is it was a relief as she had been ill for a few years - latterly with dementia. My parents live an hour and a half’s drive away and hadn’t seen them for a year due to a COVID. My DH and I did visit my dad the day after she passed and the funeral is in a couple of weeks. My dad has asked me if I want to go and see her in the Chapel of rest. This is my dilemma. It’s a case of what I shall see. I know the last year took a toll on her physically and would like to remember her how she was. Also should we go under the present rules as we shall be going anyway for the funeral? I feel like we should go as support to my dad who is putting no pressure on me. He is the most easy going person I know so there’s no feelings of guilt. Or is there from me? I don’t know what to do?

midgey Tue 02-Mar-21 10:01:08

I am very sorry to hear about your mum, it still comes as a shock even amongst the relief. If it was me I would not go, she is not there, her shell is left that’s all. I would remember as she was. You will want to see your dad of course but that’s different. flowers

grandmajet Tue 02-Mar-21 10:08:25

I would explain exactly how you feel to your dad, that you loved your mum and want to remember her as she was. He sounds a loving man, and would understand. Don’t feel guilty, guilt is a destructive emotion. You can now support your dad with the rest of his life, which would be what your mum would have wanted.
It’s horrible when you lose your mum, whatever the circumstances, so look after yourself.

Erica23 Tue 02-Mar-21 10:15:55

So sorry to hear about your mum. I wouldn’t go see her, I think it might be a shock, I didn’t see my dad for the same reason, much nicer to remember her with a happy smiling face.
If your dad does want to see her maybe you could go with him and wait outside, to show your support.
Wishing you all well flowers

Grandmadinosaur Tue 02-Mar-21 10:16:39

Thank you Midgey and Grandmajet very good advice that’s much appreciated.

NellG Tue 02-Mar-21 10:20:01

Some people find comfort in visiting the chapel of rest, others find it upsetting and it becomes the first thing they see in their minds when they think of their loved one. What do you feel you would regret most? Going or not going? If all you have now are the memories of her then I would say keep and make the ones that will comfort you, especially if your Dad will understand. Plus, it may be at odds with current rules which might support your decision. My best wishes and so sorry for your loss. flowers

Grandmadinosaur Tue 02-Mar-21 15:52:01

I understand and agree what you say about getting comfort from such a visit. I would just like to remember her how she was and I get comfort from thinking she’s in a better place and reunited with her parents and her 6 aunts and families . Thank you for your condolences.

AGAA4 Tue 02-Mar-21 16:01:37

I remember my mum telling me not to go and see someone who had died. She said that would be how you would remember them instead of the person they were when living.

keepingquiet Tue 02-Mar-21 18:01:57

It is a very personal choice. Sometimes people need closure, to begin to grieve, to say their final good-byes. Sometimes they accept the passing, and don't need that starting point for their own grief, can accept what has happened and as we say, remember them as they were.
I never visited my parents that way as I had seen them shortly before and with my mum, shortly afterwards.
I am sorry for your loss- decide for yourself what you wish to do. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to grief.

Liz46 Tue 02-Mar-21 18:19:03

I'm sorry that you have lost your mum and like the others, think that you should not go to the chapel of rest.

I lost my mum to dementia and the last few years of looking after her were awful so it was a relief when she died. I think that, when someone has dementia, you may have mourned losing the person before they die.

MissAdventure Tue 02-Mar-21 18:23:28

For some people it's a comfort, for others, something they regret.
Only you can decide, but I would say to go with your gut feeling about it.

Tangerine Tue 02-Mar-21 18:26:06

Is it possible, if you are supporting your father, to take him there but not actually go in yourself?

If you wait outside, you will be there to support him when he comes out.

Grandma11 Tue 02-Mar-21 18:48:47

Sometimes seeing your loved one helps you to grieve and accept what has happened. I lost my Dad during the Lockdown last summer, was unable to visit him in his Carehome for several weeks prior to his death, and unable to visit him at the Funeral home due to the restriction placed upon him due to the fact that he had been in a hospital with other Covid patients, even though he did not have it himself.
It now feels rather unreal, no proper funeral to attend, not with him as he passed away, not attending the undertakers or the Chapel of rest afterwards, or holding a wake in his Honour.
It’s not an easy decision to make, and one that may be influenced by your passed personal experiences of dealing with the death of a loved one. I was pleased that l did see my own Mum in the early 1990s, but l had been a nurse for many years and had become comfortable with dealing with such situations.

Nonogran Tue 02-Mar-21 19:00:41

I'm so sorry for you loss. Mums are such special people.
I saw my dear Dad in the chapel of rest. It was a comfort and actually it's not a massive memory for me. Just part of lots of other lovely memories. It helped with closure and I'm glad I did it. A quiet, by myself moment to kiss his forehead & whisper "Cheerio Dad. See you soon." He was only 57.

grannysyb Tue 02-Mar-21 19:26:38

When my closest friend died very suddenly, I wanted to see her and said my goodbyes in the chapel of rest. However it is a very personal choice, do what you are comfortable with. You are allowed to go to funerals, sadly we had to go to the funeral of my DHs brother in law in January, the maximum allowed there was 26.

paddyanne Tue 02-Mar-21 19:31:43

I didn't see my dad after he died,he had a heart attack and fell down a flight of stairs ,damaging his face .We were advised to close the coffin without viewing him.27 years later I still miss him and regret not seeing him to say goodbye.I was with my mother as she drew her last breathe and I have closure but not with my lovely dad and if I'd seen him I would have accepted it easier..I think .

grannyrebel7 Tue 02-Mar-21 19:46:35

I've seen all my relatives who have passed on. It's not how I remember them at all. Just to say my mum actually looked happy and that was a great comfort. However, of course it's up to the individual.

freedomfromthepast Wed 03-Mar-21 04:21:18

I am so sorry for your loss.

I myself have made the choice to not view. That is not how I want to remember my loved one. It is ok to say no if you dont care to.

polnan Thu 04-Mar-21 10:40:28

I wouldn`t go... but that is me.. I don`t believe we have "lost" our loved ones, but that is me..

and as for not feeling guilty, easier said than done, apparently one of the stages of grieving...

lots of hugs and prayers for you and yours.

we are all different.

Theoddbird Thu 04-Mar-21 10:41:03

Her soul flies free x I think it best to remember as she was x

GrammarGrandma Thu 04-Mar-21 10:48:24

I saw my father at the funeral parlour but not my mum. Do what you feel comfortable with. I'm sorry for your loss.

Riggie Thu 04-Mar-21 10:53:19

Tbh, I would say not now.

Seeing her shortly afterwards is one thing but if its been a couple of weeks and then you say the funeral is another couple of weeks away then Im sorry but its possibly too late anyway.

Juicylucy Thu 04-Mar-21 10:53:57

Sorry for your loss. Your dear mum will look nothing like you are imagining she will look serene and peaceful they always do. My friend went to see her dad last week she was amazed at how at peace he looked after all treatments he’d had. If you can’t face it just wait outside I think would be nice to support your dad.

NM1568 Thu 04-Mar-21 11:02:40

So sorry for your loss . I lost my mum in March last year. We cared for her at home after her terminal diagnosis. She had lost 27kg and I think I got through that time knowing that who I was caring for wasn’t my lovely mum, this very poorly lady looked nothing like my mum. I chose not to see her again and I’m happy with that decision. It’s a hard one but do what you feel is right for you. Hugs 💐

kwest Thu 04-Mar-21 11:05:29

My parents both died within a year of each other when I was in my twenties.
Dad died first. He was a lovely, gentle and very private man and the last thing he would have wanted was to have people staring at him in his coffin. He also had a post-mortem and I was not sure how his body would look so my mother and I both agreed that the coffin be closed. Neither of us saw him dead, he died in hospital just after midnight after a seven hour operation.
My Mum died a year later from a sudden heart attack, She was staying with relatives at the time. She had been taken to hospital with a 'DOA' label by the time we had driven up there. I spoke to the funeral directors that night and they arranged to have her body moved back to a local funeral director the day before the funeral. I will always remember my Mum saying in a conversation a year earlier that she wanted to be buried wearing her wedding ring as she believed it was part of the sacred contract between her and my father and no one else should wear it.
Six weeks after her funeral I received an envelope from the original Funeral Director containing my mother's wedding ring. I was distraught that I had not managed to get that one thing right for her. I wrote a very angry letter to the FD as I had specifically instructed him to make sure that she was buried wearing her wedding ring. His response was that they could not have held up the funeral for something like that. My response was "Why, she would not have been any less dead?"
So I didn't see either parent after they died. One of my father's relatives did complain that she had come all the way from Scotland for the funeral and had expected the coffin to be open. I pointed out that she had not visited him when he was alive so why did she want to see him when he was dead. I was obviously a very angry and upset young woman, in shock. I have my mother's wedding ring in my bedside drawer and obviously have never worn it. I have no idea what to do with it and it has been there for 46 years.