Resources

Should We View the Body?

While we are a great believer in the value of the family seeing the body, every family must make that choice for themselves. If the choice is made not to view, then we recommend that the family find other ways to face the reality of the loss.

Viewing can give reality and be the first step of a healthy grief experience. This may seem like a terrible ordeal to put a grieving person through, but it is hard to find reality without it. It may seem difficult, but in most cases, it has a healing and comforting effect on us. Our last view of a loved one alive is often not the one we want to carry the rest of our lives. This is especially true after a death following an illness. We often hear folks say they wish to remember the person as they were. That is fine if we did not have to see them while they were ill. After my father died, I was so relieved to see him peaceful instead of gasping for one last breath when he was dying.

Our efforts to avoid viewing often leave far too much to the imagination. Imagination will always make it worse than it was in reality. My former business associate did not get to see her son who died of suicide. Months later she got the pictures the police took of the scene and told me the pictures were so much better than her imagination had made it seem to her. As a grief counselor, I have seen how much solace this can provide a family, and how little is then left to the imagination.

Source:
“Building Memories: Planning a Meaningful Funeral.” Building Memories: Planning a Meaningful Funeral, by Doug Manning, In-Sight Books, 2011.

顧問團

李炳光牧師香港循道衛理聯合教會前任會長
蕭恩松牧師浸會出版社前任社長
王大為牧師基督教伯特利會遵理堂主任牧師
鍾建楷牧師中華基督教禮賢會荃灣堂主任牧師
李恩意女士資深輔導員
Gregory M. Anderson Ph.D.Senior Pastor, Union Church
Dr. Lawrence ChenPsychologist, Ph.D., FAAETS, BCETS, BCBT, MPEC
Brett HilliardSenior Pastor, Island Evangelical Community Church

Advisory Board

Rev. Li Ping KwongFormer President, The Hong Kong Methodist Church
Rev. Anselm SiaoFormer Executive Director, Chinese Baptist Press
Rev. David WongPastor In-charge, Tsun Lei Church Bethel Mission of China
Rev. Chung Kin KaiPastor In-charge, Chinese Rhenish Church, Tsuen Wan
Ms. Berenice LeeCounselor
Gregory M. Anderson Ph.D.Senior Pastor, Union Church
Dr. Lawrence ChenPsychologist, Ph.D., FAAETS, BCETS, BCBT, MPEC
Brett HilliardSenior Pastor, Island Evangelical Community Church