Is a Visitation Really Necessary?

There are many differing opinions about whether a visitation is necessary.  Some people want a final opportunity to say goodbye, while others feel it’s distressing to be in the same room as the person who has died.

If you’re choosing cremation for your loved one, it’s important to know that having a visitation is definitely an option.

Some people decide to cremate before the memorial service. They may even skip the service entirely. Visitation is not strictly necessary, but many experts say it’s an important moment in the journey of healing. Therapeutic benefits include giving loved ones a chance to say goodbye, providing closure, and helping families move toward healing as they come together with friends and members of the community who want to pay their respects and offer their condolences.

In some cultures, time spent with the body of a loved one who has died is sacred. Family members care for the body, bathing, dressing and preparing their loved one for burial. Sometimes, it can be comforting just to sit quietly with the body of a loved one.

  • If death was a shock, it can be better to view the body. This can help people accept the reality of their loss.
  • If a loved one has been ill for a long time, it can be comforting to see the body free of tubes and wires. Being with the unencumbered body can make it easier to feel that, in death, your loved one is no longer in pain.
  • A visitation allows you to say things that were left unsaid. Often, when a loved one dies, we feel a sense of something left undone or incomplete. It can be comforting to sit with the deceased, saying a last goodbye or expressing something you never got to say.

Having a visitation is a personal choice, and we offer many options to help you find the right one for your family. Call (650) 227-3142 today to learn about our life-honoring memorial services.

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