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Should We Have an Open Casket?

Published: March 18, 2022

“I was very surprised at my reaction. Seeing John in his casket wasn’t something I was looking forward to. His daughter (from his first marriage) really wanted an open casket.  So, I agreed. Mostly just to remain on good terms with my stepdaughter. He looked so peaceful. He had a Mona Lisa smile. I am so glad I didn’t stick to what he and I had talked about. The opportunity for that last good good-bye ended up meaning the world to me… and his daughter.”

Many long-standing funeral practices, like viewing the deceased, are undervalued today.  Perhaps we should think again? Maybe go slowly? Allow for individual family members to say goodbye in a way that is most meaningful to them. 

There is a value to “seeing” the deceased. If you doubt that value think about what happens when there is a sudden, unexpected death. Body recovery is high on everyone’s list. Seeing is believing. Some family members may find an opportunity to see the deceased helpful. Some, like the woman who wrote the opening quote, may be surprised at the comfort the opportunity to see the person they love at peace brings.

The funeral director is there to guide you. Ask questions. How can we give my grandson an opportunity to see his grandfather? What if some family do not wish to see dad? Mom didn’t want an open casket but some of us would like an opportunity to see her one last time. What can we do?

Funeral directors are always willing and able to allow for individual family differences. A daughter who prefers not to view the body and grandson who would very much appreciate an opportunity for a face to face farewell. One need not exclude the other. Funeral directors have solutions. When you meet with yours, be open. Share your family’s needs and ask questions.

www.langelands.com

Langeland Family Funeral Homes has been providing quality burial, cremation, funeral and memorial services to the families of Kalamazoo County since 1934. With locations in Kalamazoo, Portage and Climax, Michigan, Langeland Family Funeral Homes is the premiere full-service facility in the area. To learn more, visit langelands.com.
 
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622 South Burdick St.
|
622 South Burdick St.
| Kalamazoo, MI 49007
|
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
411 East Centre Ave
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411 East Centre Ave
| Portage, MI 49002
|
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
3926 S. 9th St.
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3926 S. 9th St.
| Kalamazoo, MI 49009
|
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
205 East Maple St.
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205 East Maple St.
| Climax, MI 49034
|
Tel: 1-269-746-4206

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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