Visiting your loved one
Handling grief is a very personal process and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. It is always entirely up to you whether you want to visit your loved one. Rosedale Funeral Home is always happy to discuss this decision with you based on our many years of experience.
Many people feel that visiting before the funeral to say goodbye to those we love can be helpful as part of the grieving process. However, it is also understandable that not everyone will want to see their loved one once they have passed away and this is a perfectly natural choice. If you don’t wish to visit the chapel, we can place any items in the coffin on your behalf.
Chapel of Rest
If you decide that you would like to visit your loved one, we have private rooms at each of our funeral homes in Norfolk and Suffolk. You are welcome to spend as much time as you like in our peaceful rooms that can also be personalised with music, photographs or flowers.
Visiting the Chapel of Rest and spending time with a closed coffin is also an option, particularly if you are concerned about the lasting memory you will retain of your loved one.
We have an infinity candle in each of our chapels and there is also an opportunity to light a tealight or write a message on a card to be placed in the coffin.
Rosedale will help you to say goodbye however you wish in a calm and tranquil atmosphere.
How do you care for the deceased and what about embalming?
We feel that it is important that we are open and honest about what goes on behind the scenes, as this can be shrouded in mystery. If you have any questions about how your loved one will be cared for, please do ask us, when it comes to something as important as your peace of mind at this time, there is no such things as a silly question. We have both male and female staff working behind the scenes to care for those that have died and it is perfectly acceptable if you would like to let us know if you have a preference as to who should wash and dress your loved one. We do employ staff with training and experience in hair and beauty and, where appropriate, you can let us have the makeup bag of the deceased for us to use, as well as nail varnish and perfume. For the gentlemen, please let us know whether you would like us to present them clean shaven and feel free to provide us with their aftershave/cologne.
When a deceased person comes into the care of Rosedale, we acknowledge the level of trust that is being placed in us, and we pledge to care for them with dignity and respect, in the same way that we would if they were a member of our own family. We ensure non-invasive processes are employed whenever possible.
Once we have been given authorisation from the Doctors involved, we wash and dress the deceased either in clothes that the family have given us or a gown that we can provide. We close their eyes and mouth and sometimes to do this we use a simple neck brace that may be slightly visible when you visit the Chapel of Rest.
For most of the funerals that Rosedale conduct, embalming is not usually necessary. The process is not good for the environment and most of the time it is unnecessary, and would simply increase the cost of the funeral to the family.
It is true that when a deceased has been embalmed, their skin tone can be more lifelike, and some families may prefer this. There is however an argument AGAINST trying to make the deceased look as lifelike as possible. The sad reality is that they are no longer alive, and coming to visit the chapel of rest and witnessing this can often be a really important first step along the hard and narrow road of grief.
Of course there are occasions when embalming may be desirable or essential and this can be for a variety of reasons, such as the personal preference of the family, if the deceased is to rest at home prior to the funeral, if there will be long and protracted viewings in the Chapel of Rest or if the deceased needs to undertake a long journey by road, sea or air.
In these cases, we would always discuss this with you and seek the express written consent of the Executor or next of kin. The process will always be carried out by a fully trained and professionally qualified practitioner.
The most important factor is not whether the deceased has or hasn’t been embalmed but how they are looked after when in the care of the funeral director. The certificate issued to Rosedale by the Good Funeral Guide states, “We have visited this funeral home and assured ourselves that those who have died are looked after here with the greatest care and respect. It is our judgement that here you will be: Listened to with empathy; offered the full range of choice; given all the time you need; charged fairly; and empowered to arrange a funeral which reflects your wishes and values and those of the person who has died”.
If you want to be a part of the care of your loved one at any stage, we can facilitate this for you, whether that is to take part in washing rituals for religious or cultural reasons, or whether you feel you are the only one who knows just how they had their hair or, as a friend or family member, you’d like to do their nail varnish just one last time.