To View or Not to View
I Never have been a fan of embalming, but then I realized I’d never seen embalming done. Well, recently, a friend of the family passed after a long illness. At 93, in ill health, she was ready to go, she was worn out.
Before she passed, this once active lady nested on the couch, slept in her clothes and occasionally risked getting up to go the bathroom. You know the story; fell, broke her hip never to recover.
She'd tell you that she was ready to go and didn't understand what was taking so long. She meant it.
She always prided herself on her appearance and every family get together the last couple years I'd snap a photo and then marvel later that she looked like a corpse in the photos.
Fast forward to the visitation. At the viewing, my grandmother Etta insisted that I go look at the deceased. "Doesn't she look like she could sit up and start talking?" Etta Mae asked. I stepped back; I was amazed by the good work done by Gorman Sharp funeral home. I'd never witnessed someone who looked better in death than in the last few years of life.
The next day at the burial, I stopped the funeral director, Bruce Howell and praised their work. Mr. Howell sited his nephew and said that sometimes with older ladies that have been ill, the results of embalming and cosmetics are good.
My grandfather was the worst embalming case I have ever seen. Granted, he'd been gravely ill before he died, however, he would have wanted a viewing AND a picture, and I believe my mother obliged him.
I realize that there are many factors involved in the art of embalming, but I have instructed my husband, that unless he absolutely needs a viewing, I would prefer not to be embalmed. Cremate and pack me into an artillery shell. Fireworks for me please. The Big Red Tomato.