Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, I have a dilemma, and this post is pretty morbid. On Saturday unfortunately my dear gran passed away, and for various reasons i couldn’t see her for almost 2 weeks before she died. I was really quite close to her. The last time I saw her she had a horrible chunky neck brace on which she’s had for about 6 months, couldn’t move at all and had tubes in her. I don’t want to remember her like this, and I was wondering if anyone has been to a chapel of rest before and if the body looks that different? I want to see her how I remember her, wearing her own clothes with her makeup on. I really need a chance to say goodbye properly. However, both my parents and some other people are saying I absolutely shouldn’t go and that it’ll traumatise me, and my dad is point blank refusing. For reference I’m 17, so feel like I’m old enough to make decisions like this? I don’t want to regret not going. Anyway, in simple terms, is the chapel of rest scary or worth going, and how can I convince them to let me? Sorry for the length of this, I’m just a bit stuck. Thanks.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    So sorry to hear about your gran my thoughts are with you and your family :hugs:

    I can understand your parents worries about you seeing her in the chapel of rest, you don't really know how you are going to react until you are there in front of your loved ones body. I've seen a few of my family members in the chapel of rest and was asked if I would like to see my great gran who passed when I was about 7 and chose to go in, it wasn't as scary or haunting as I thought it would be. It looked like the gran I remembered, not the gran who was left debilitated from a stroke. I saw my other great gran when she died and I was about 14 and again, she looked like the gran I remembered - the way I wanted to remember her.

    I am going into the field of embalming and funeral work. Most of the time, families give embalmers directions on how to do their family members make up, hair and choose an outfit for the embalmer to dress them in so they can be remembered however they expressed they would like to be remembered as or how the family chose to. This can help some to remember them as the person they once were but sometimes it can hurt people even more as they are further reminded that their loved one is gone.

    If embalming is done well, the deceased will look as though they are sleeping peacefully and it can be quite comforting to look at, if that makes sense? The biggest difference of a deceased body to a live body (other than them not breathing, of course) is the feel of their skin. It becomes cold and stiff due to being kept in frozen storage when not in the chapel of rest. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like a frozen brick.

    If you really do want to see your gran then I would recommend sitting down with your parents calmly and tell them that you don't want to regret not seeing her but you understand their worries but that you are prepared to take the risk and that it also may give you some closure to see her.

    Again, I am really sorry for your loss. Take care :hugs:
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SummerAmber00)
    Hi, I have a dilemma, and this post is pretty morbid. On Saturday unfortunately my dear gran passed away, and for various reasons i couldn’t see her for almost 2 weeks before she died. I was really quite close to her. The last time I saw her she had a horrible chunky neck brace on which she’s had for about 6 months, couldn’t move at all and had tubes in her. I don’t want to remember her like this, and I was wondering if anyone has been to a chapel of rest before and if the body looks that different? I want to see her how I remember her, wearing her own clothes with her makeup on. I really need a chance to say goodbye properly. However, both my parents and some other people are saying I absolutely shouldn’t go and that it’ll traumatise me, and my dad is point blank refusing. For reference I’m 17, so feel like I’m old enough to make decisions like this? I don’t want to regret not going. Anyway, in simple terms, is the chapel of rest scary or worth going, and how can I convince them to let me? Sorry for the length of this, I’m just a bit stuck. Thanks.
    I'm very sorry for your loss. I have some personal experience of this so I can tell you what it was like for me. Rum Ham's advice is good so I would consider that. However my own experience is quite different.

    I know what it's like to not want to remember someone in the state you last saw them alive, if they weren't doing too well. It was like that with my grandmother. I never saw her at the chapel of rest but my mum said she looked different, but not in a bad way. Peaceful, I think is how she described it. She'd been in a lot of pain before the end and so my last memory of her was unfortunately not very good.

    My dad died a couple of years back, unexpectedly. I did see him in the chapel of rest and I'm not sure if it was the right decision. I dwelt on what I'd seen for a few weeks after and then it kind of faded. I find it difficult to picture now mentally, and to be honest I'm kind of glad as what I do know is that I prefer to remember him as he was in old photos (this is what I do now), and not how I saw him at the chapel.

    I don't want to put you off if it's something you want to do - or something you think you should do. But consider that people can look very different when they're dead. It's difficult to describe to someone who's never seen it. But it's like there are lots of details that are "off". Their colouring is the wrong shade, their facial expression is unfamiliar etc. These things combined for me to create a feeling that was quite unsettling.

    You also have to be prepared for the possibility of there being unusual smells. There was a weird smell when I went. I'm guessing it was embalming fluid mixed with decomposition and whatever smells they were using to try and mask it.

    Some practical considerations:
    1. How long has it been since she died? The longer it's been the more likely it is that she will look more different.
    2. Was there a post-mortem/autopsy? If there was then there could be some signs of this which may be upsetting.

    I suspect some of these things may be down to the skill of the people doing the embalming. I'm sure Rum Ham can provide some more input on that.

    Anyway, I hope you make the right choice for you.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Useful resources
    Bizarre things students have spent their loans onThings you should budget for at uni

    Sponsored features:

    Making money from your own website

    Need some cash?

    How to make money running your own website.

    Bianca Miller, runner-up on The Apprentice

    Handle your digital footprint

    What would an employer find out about you on Google? Find out how to take control.

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.