Viewing a loved one can have great benefits for grieving relatives. Often, we find it difficult to believe that someone has died and seeing it for ourselves helps us to accept the reality, so necessary before we can begin to move forward with the changes a death can mean.

Seeing a person’s body in an appropriate and attractive well-prepared environment can leave us with a sense of peace and dignity, which can be very important.

If the death has involved sickness, pain and struggle, or even violent or accidental death, then this sense of peace, and even beauty can help us to appreciate and celebrate the person’s life more easily.

When we have not been present when death has occurred, especially if it was an unexpected death, we may be tormented by thoughts of that time and seeing the person can help move our thoughts past that painful thinking.

Family members who visit or view have an opportunity to share and comfort one another, to say a personal goodbye, to place personal items in the coffin and to prepare for the more public funeral.