When planning funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, one of the things that funeral directors ask people is whether they want to have visitation for their loved ones. You may not know whether you should have a visitation for your loved one or not, but there are some good reasons to consider having one.
First, it’s important for you to know that you can have a visitation for your loved one without having a viewing (an open casket with your loved one in repose). You may not want a viewing because you want people to remember your loved one as they were in a life or because you don’t want that to be your last memory of your loved one.
Those reasons are valid and your funeral director understands them and can arrange a visitation that doesn’t include a viewing.
One reason for having a visitation for your loved one is that it gives your friends and family members an opportunity to personally pay their respects and to offer you comfort and support. Even during COVID-19, funeral directors have found creative ways to make visitations possible.
Many funeral homes are offering drive-through visitations. With a drive-through visitation, you and your immediate family stand in front of the funeral home, and each car comes through one by one, with the car’s occupants rolling down the windows and offering you their condolences and expressions of sympathy.
This is a critical part of the funeral process, and, perhaps, even more, important now when there are so many public health restrictions that keep people apart and distanced from each other to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Some funeral homes are able to host smaller visitations inside their facilities, and a visitation for your loved one would give you an opportunity to pay tribute to your loved one’s life and shine a light on who they were as a person.
While close friends and family members may know your loved one very well, some of the people who attend the visitation may have known them only casually. Those people will be able to learn things about your loved one that they may not have known, and they will have a deeper understanding and respect of why your loved one meant so much to you.
Some of the things you can include as part of the visitation for your loved one are:
- A tribute video – Tribute videos often include two or three of your loved one’s favorite songs and photos that highlight aspects of their life and their personality.
- A memorial table – Memorial tables focus on some part of your loved one’s life that they were passionate about or that meant a lot to them. For example, your loved one may have been a music collector, so you can include photos of them at concerts and covers of some of their favorite albums.
Visitations can also help you and your family grieve together and draw comfort and support from your friends and other family members. Sometimes families have disagreements and rifts that only death can mend. A visitation for your loved one can be the first step toward healing and reforming bonds that you and your family can share for the rest of your life.
Visitations have many benefits, so while you don’t have to have visitation for your loved one, it may be something that you want to consider in your funeral planning.