When making funeral arrangements at funeral homes in College Park, MD, one of the things that will need to be decided is whether or to have a visitation. Many people have questions about what should and shouldn’t be done during visitations, so here are some answers that may help.
First, you should know that having a visitation for your loved one is optional. You and your family may decide that you just want to have a funeral service and/or a graveside service, and that is perfectly acceptable.
Traditionally, visitations are held just before the funeral service so that mourners can express their sympathy and support to the grieving family and so that they can pay their respects to the deceased.
Many times the visitation includes a viewing. Your loved one’s casket is opened so that the people attending the visitation can see them one last time and say their final farewells. However, you do not have to have a viewing with a visitation for your loved one.
In some cases, it may not be prudent to have a viewing for your loved one. If, for example, your loved one was in tragic accident in which they were severely injured, you would not want to have a viewing. As well, if your loved one died from a terminal illness that savagely ravaged their body, you would not want to have a viewing.
Whether you have a viewing with your loved one’s visitation is a personal decision that is entirely yours and your family’s to make. There is no right or wrong answer to whether you should have a viewing.
So, what can you do to honor your loved one during a visitation?
One thing you can do is to set up memory tables that have pictures of your loved one and personal things that were very special to them. For example, if your loved one had a favorite sports team and everyone who knew them knew about it, then you could set up a table that has pictures of them attending that team’s events or games and you can include team memorabilia from your loved one’s collection.
Another idea for a memory table could be to remember a loved one’s military service. Military veterans are often very proud of their service to the United States. For some military veterans, whether they served their entire career in the military or they did just one tour of duty, the military and their allegiance to the United States has a dominant place in their lives. Having a memory table reflecting that can help honor your loved one’s memory.
Another thing that you can do during a visitation is to play a tribute video that you or the funeral home creates. In your loved one’s tribute video, you can include a few of their favorite songs, favorite pictures of them, and quotes from books or poems that describe them or favorite sayings that your loved one was known for.
This tribute video can play and replay throughout the visitation.
Funeral homes have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, and they have found creative ways to do things such as viewings, which are usually held inside the funeral home. Many funeral homes have adopted the concept of drive by viewings.
With a drive by viewing, you and your family stand at the funeral home entrance and people drive up, one car at a time, and roll down their car windows to offer you and your family their condolences and comfort.