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BlogExploring Compassionate Alternatives to Visiting the Chapel of Rest

Exploring Compassionate Alternatives to Visiting the Chapel of Rest

When it comes to grief, people have different coping mechanisms.

Some may find it beneficial to express their emotions and cope with loss through activities like talking to a therapist, becoming involved in creative or outdoor activities or joining support groups. Others may feel that their most cherished memories of their loved ones are rooted in the times they spent together while alive and prefer to express their feelings privately.

The Chapel of Rest is traditionally a way of saying a farewell, a place to collect thoughts, share memories and see your loved one for a final time. But it’s not for everyone. While the Chapel of Rest offers a comforting and serene space for saying goodbye and finding closure, not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of visiting.

For those, the memories they hold dear are more important than the appearance of a loved one in repose.

Grief is a highly personal experience and there are many reasons why someone may choose not to visit the Chapel of Rest.

What’s more you should never feel pressured into visiting the Chapel of Rest if you’re uncomfortable doing so.

Personal Grief and Comfort

Grief can bring forth a range of emotions and sometimes the idea of seeing a loved one in repose can be overwhelming or distressing.

If the thought of visiting the Chapel of Rest causes you anxiety, guilt or additional upset, it’s fine to choose not to go. It’s important to prioritise your emotional well-being and set personal boundaries.

Alternative: Instead of visiting the Chapel of Rest, consider personal ways to remember your loved one. Light a candle, create a personal memorial space at home or engage in a cherished activity that you both enjoyed. Perhaps there’s a special place you can visit? The important thing is to find a way that feels right for you.

Your Cultural and Religious Beliefs

Cultural and religious beliefs will strongly influence how you approach death and mourning. Some belief systems have specific guidelines about viewing the deceased or have rituals that differ from those typically practised in a Chapel of Rest. If not visiting the Chapel of Rest is appropriate, it’s perfectly natural to find another way to remember a loved one. If your loved one is not an immediate family member, the deceased’s family will certainly understand.

Alternative: Pay your respects in a manner that aligns with your beliefs. This could include performing prayers, rituals, or ceremonies at a place that holds significance within your faith, but you will know which ones will bring you the most comfort.

Cherishing Memories Instead

While you might feel pressure to visit the Chapel of Rest, almost like it’s a rite of passage, but for many people the memories they want of their loved one is the time they spent together while alive. Many want to have the last memories of the good times rather than their loved one in repose. In this way, choosing not to visit the Chapel of Rest certainly doesn’t diminish the love and connection you shared and is perfectly acceptable.

Alternative: Once you’ve passed through grief you’ll come to live alongside the memory of your loved one. Focus on celebrating their life. You could create a memory journal, write letters, or compile a photo album that captures the essence of your relationship and the moments you shared, ready for when you are ready.

Embracing Different Forms of Closure

Closure is a very important part of coming to terms with death. And this closure doesn’t always have to come from viewing the deceased in the Chapel of Rest. People find closure through the funeral, from having a memorial or special place to visit, or celebrating their loved one’s life with friends and family. Closure is a personal thing that is unique to you and that helps you heal and move forward.

Alternative: Explore different avenues for closure that meet your personal needs. Use professional guidance if you find it challenging to cope with the loss on your own or look to other people for sources of ideas to help you pass through grief. Some families, for example, might take a weekend away each year to celebrate the life of a loved one.

Sometimes It’s Not Possible

Even if you want to it’s not always possible to see the deceased at the Chapel of Rest. In some cases, where the death is traumatic it may not be possible to arrange for a loved one to repose in the Chapel of Rest. Your funeral director will guide you and help you through it.

Final Thoughts

There are various reasons why you might opt for a different approach to grieving. Remember that grief is complex and what matters most is finding a way to cope that is right for you. Whether you choose to visit the Chapel of Rest or not, the healing process is personal and unique to you and the most important thing is to prioritise your well-being and find the right way through grief for your needs.

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