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Saying Goodbye
Arranging a funeral for someone you care for can be a distressing task. It is the final opportunity for families and friends to express their love and appreciation. The desire therefore would be that the funeral service be significant, meaningful and appropriate. A funeral is a celebration and thanksgiving for the life of the person who has died.
A really important aspect of saying farewell in the funeral service, is the time spent with the deceased. The immediate reaction to the suggestion of a viewing is generally negative. People often stay with this intial reaction and later they regret not having taken the opportunity. A viewing is a chance to say goodbye and it differs from the funeral service in that it is much more personal and private. It is an opportunity for families, children and friends to share a special time and make that final farewell. Sometimes there are many different things left unsaid, as in a sudden and unexpected death, a fragmented relationship or simply distance. At a viewing, these final expressions of love can take place, privately.
Some people value a personal keepsake such as a photo or lock of hair. There may be favourite clothing in which you would like the deceased dressed and music you would like played at the viewing. You may wish to place momentos in the coffin - photos, letters, flowers, poems, hobby items, a favourite toy. Death affects everyone including children and they can gain comfort from being involved. These are some of the options available.
In regards to the funeral, music is usually a significant option. Organist, soloist, CD or tape. Someone in the family may play an instrument or sing. Some families may choose to have a vidoe or photographs taken of the funeral. Flowers may be taken home or delivered to a nursing home or hospital. Or instead of flowers, donations may be made to a particular charity. You may like to incorporate life symbols in the service by arranging a table with items reflecting the deceased's interests. There are many more options available. These can be discussed at the approriate time.