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Unsure of going to the viewing of my dad.


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I lost my dad suddenly a week ago and its been really difficult. 

My last voice conversation with him was about pizza places back home and our last text conversation was about a credit card that got sent to his home instead of mine. 

I didn't get a chance to say goodbye and I have a very limited window to make this decision. 

I am scared I won't be able to handle seeing him because I know he won't look the same. I was able to see my step-dad after he passed when I was a kid and even though it didn't mess me up or anything I do remember what his face looked like after he had passed. 

I also don't want to regret not being able to go see him one last time. Has anyone else chosen to see their parents like that or regrets or any sort of similar experience so I can get a little more insight please? I'm leaning towards going but that also means I need to book a flight asap since his viewing is on Sunday and that means dipping into credit cards, and then his funeral won't even be at least 15 days after that. My partner can't get that much time off and is only able to be there with me for the funeral and that would mean I'd probably be there the entire time by myself without any car or anything because it'd be too much to fly back and then have to fly back out for the funeral.

This is so overwhelming and I am struggling to make these decisions because I dont want to regret anything down the line. 


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As a preliminary comment -- this is all my opinions, my feelings (standard disclaimers ;-) ).


That aside. Please don't do anything out of guilt or false responsibility. All of this is FOR you. It's to give you the OPTION of what you NEED to do to survive and work through this. It's about you - don't force something that isn't you.


If you need this, then think about how it can or should happen that will give you what you need. If you don't need this (or don't want this), no guilt. This is for you. 

In case it's helpful, my experiences (read at your own risk). 


My uncle - an autopsy was done so his head/face was bloated. That is most of what I remember. I was about 10 I think. It did not traumatize me and I don't really remember the imagery much. I do remember the room, some of the people, the setup of the chairs. I went with my family because my father needed to go (it was his brother and he was like maybe 34-35 years old). 

My grandmother - she lived to be very old. I went for me, and for my mom. Some of the last days were rough but overall, it could have been a lot worse. I remember that she looked pretty. I don't remember details. She was wearing something nice my mom picked out. I remember the time before we went into the room, family being there. Music my mom had chosen to have played. Going back to my parents' house after, etc.

My dad - we just had a memorial (another story)

My mother - she requested to be cremated but they offered a viewing for me and my other half. We went in. I expected her to look very ill since I was under the impression that nothing had been "done". But, she looked angelic. Beautiful.  (The toughest image for me was when was she dying and struggling to breathe). 


All that said. I'm not one that sees the need to do things like this out of obligations. I don't see the need in opening or creating wounds. It's whatever you need to do to get past this. It is NOT putting your head in the sand to not go. Especially if it creates a set of hoops you have to jump that you simply aren't up to. My thought is to just sit down and think about what you need...for closure, for your own life. What are your *needs*. What do you feel will *help* you.


I hope this helps.

My best to you. I hope you feel the your father's love and that it gives you a peace and calmness and safety in all this. 

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