The viewing is an opportunity for family and friends to spend time with the deceased person’s body.
When time is spent with the body, our minds, which so very much want to deny the truth, cannot help but begin the process of acknowledging the reality of the death.
Not only is the dead body “proof” for our logical mind, but it is a means of transition for our searching heart which yearns to still be with that person.
It can feel uncomfortable and painful in the moment but is ultimately helpful and healing.
Spending time with the body also helps us consider the meaning of our loved one’s life and death.
Giving us these final memories of seeing the person we loved through to the grave sets us on a course for transcendence through grief.
A meaningful funeral is not about denying death but befriending it.
Perhaps most of all, it’s about remembering the value of saying hello to grief on the pathway to goodbye.
Source: Dr Alan Wolfelt