Advice please re: Chapel of Rest

Found 16th Jul 2008
Strange request I know.......

A very close friend passed away on Monday from Adult Leukaemia and she is in the Chapel of Rest for people to visit and say their goodbyes.

I have never been to one before, I don't know what to expect, part of me wants to go but I don't know whether I will regret doing it or regret not doing it. I understand ultimately only I can make the decision but I wanted some advice from others to help me make the decision.

Many thanks in advance

  1. Misc
  1. Misc

sorry about your friend - you might regret if you dont go - as for what to expect - she was your friend and your saying your goodbyes - thats all that matters - sad as it is -

Sorry about your news.
I would definatly go, it will be your last chance to say goodbye.
I think you would regret it for the rest of your life if you didn't go.

Sorry to hear that. All I can say is I didn't visit my Grandad in the chapel of rest, but I must admit, I regreted it. When my mum died, I had to go and see her, I didn't feel I could not. I have never regreted the decision. It really is down to how you feel yourself, there is no right or wrong.


Sorry to hear that. Can you ask someone else who has been how they found it as it can be very different each time.

I visited my nan recently in hospital just before she passed away and wished I hadn't seen her like that. Not the same I know, but if I had asked advice from others first, I would never have gone.


I'm sure that whatever you decide, they will know that you were a good friend in their life.

I have chosen never to see a person lying in a coffin. I think it is better to remember them as they were, because the last memory of them will be the one in the coffin otherwise. I have always gone to the chapel / church/ graveside, but never look at a dead body.

I went to see my sons Dad and wished I hadn't because that is now the last memory I have of him. It has replaced other memories and when I think of him that is the 1st picture I see. I am hoping it fades in time.

It is a personal decision to make as I know that some people find it a comfort.

I am truly sorry you have lost such a close friend and hope that however you choose to say goodbye it helps x

Sorry about your friend - my brother died recently and i didnt go to see him as i wanted my last memory to be happy as i saw him the day before he died larking around....
Like you said its a personal choice but in my view you can say good-by anywhere as the body is just a vessel now not a person .


Sorry to hear about your friend... very sad. Personally, I would go to the chapel of rest as it would be something I'd regret if I didn't. If you do go, you could always change your mind before you actually entered the room. Take someone with you for support. I think the undertaker would advise you as to whether she looks at peace or not before you enter the room.

A friend of mine committed suicide and I cut him down, that's the lasting image I have of him and yet everyone that went to see him at the chapel of rest said he looked even more handsome than he'd ever looked. So I regret not seeing him. Maybe the image I have of him would then be replaced by a peaceful image.


sorry to hear about your friend, never been to see anyone in the chapel of rest before but i know a few that have and everyone of them said they wished they hadn't. this is one fo those things that you just have to make a decision and believe it is the best one you have made, i know if someone i knew died i would want to remember them as they where and not remember them lying in a coffin xxx



I have chosen never to see a person lying in a coffin. I think it is … I have chosen never to see a person lying in a coffin. I think it is better to remember them as they were, because the last memory of them will be the one in the coffin otherwise. I have always gone to the chapel / church/ graveside, but never look at a dead body.

I agree.

Original Poster

The last time I saw her she was in pain so I am thinking maybe if I go and see her she will look serene and not in pain and that will be a better memory than the previous one. I am going to see if anyone else has been to see her and try and get an idea of what she looks like.

In my mind even though I saw her in pain I can overide that with the sound of her voice and how she looked before she was ill so I think I could do that if I saw her in the chapel of rest and just have it as another memory, I don't know which regret is bigger - saying goodbye face to face or not.

Thank you to everyone who has posted and to anyone else who does, I am eternally grateful for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences :friends:


You go and see your friend and you regret it or you dont go and regret it, neither of these actions can be changed down the line, my heart goes out to you xx

Sorry to hear of your friend, very sad.

As others have said you must make your own mind up, it's just too personal.

I swore I'd never go to a funeral let alone a Chapel of Rest. I had to break that promise to myself twice, both times because I knew how devastating it would be for someone else if I had not gone.

There are always exceptions that break a rule so for me you just have to be true to yourself.

Be at peace with yourself, I'm sure your dearly departed friend would understand and respect you whatever your decision.

Take care and I hope the pain eases and the memory of your friend grows happier and stronger.

very sorry about your friend.
i have seen a few people in the chapel of rest,each time i have regretted it,i have gone more to support another rather than through my own choice
i would prefer to remember the person the way they were and personally i would rather nobody came to look at me in my coffin and have told my partner words to that effect,
its very difficult to remember that person the way they were without seeing the image of them dead,

its a very difficult desicion for you,you do what u feel is best x x

I'm sorry for your loss-grieving and how we cope with it is a very personal thing.
There is no right or wrong. I would say go to the Chapel and then go with your gut instincts when you get there- if you still feel the need to go in and say your goodbyes then do, but if you get to the door and waiver then don't go in.
I have been to see all of my close relatives and I am glad that I did,but I will admit to being petrified when I had my first "viewing". In the main, they have all looked younger and at peace. I can understand that others may hold this as their last memory of a loved one and that that can be a little upsetting but I choose to believe that what I have seen is just an empty shell, and that whoever I am saying goodbye to has passed away from pain and suffering.
Do what you feel is right for you, don't feel pressured in to going just because it is the "done thing".
Take care

I am sorry you are in this situation all I can do is give my opinion, Remember her as she was her spirit will always be around the only things that dies is the body it’s just a vehicle for the spirit/soul. I would go to a place special to her or you and say goodbye.

wow, I've not got an opinion either way but amazed at the good wishes and support offered, well done every one, this is much better than the arguing lately!


I am sorry you are in this situation all I can do is give my opinion, … I am sorry you are in this situation all I can do is give my opinion, Remember her as she was her spirit will always be around the only things that dies is the body it’s just a vehicle for the spirit/soul. I would go to a place special to her or you and say goodbye.

i agree
to me each person i have been to see look like they are not them anymore,hard to explain really
but i think as others have said its just an empty shell and that person is no longer there to say goodbye to
the chapel of rest do there best to make the person look nice but in my experience they are not always succesful at getting them to look "viewable"

i think u are right to speak to others who have seen your friend to see how they felt about it

i would go. it is closure for me.

my dad died in may and i went to see him at the chapel of rest, i wasnt too sure about it but it was the best thing i could have done, i was hurt inside but when i saw him so peaceful the bad feeling i had inside just drifted away there and then. i promise u that u will regret it if u dont go.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

god bless you whatever you decide, it is a very difficult desicion to make, i didnt want to go and see my mam, it would have given me nightmares (my mam died very suddenly through very bad circumstances), but everybody is different, and it might be the best thing you could do, you really need to have a good think about it and whatever you decide, be strong x

Sorry to hear that,its a hard decision to make. My mother in law passed away in May from Cancer. We were told that she was not going to make it and she passed away two weeks later. We spent every day with her in that two weeks but on the day she died i could not be with her as there was no one to have the children and obviously my husband was priority. I never got to say goodbye and it is something that will stay with me forever, she was in so much pain and i just wanted to see her peaceful. I would of done anything to have one last moment with her so my advice would be to go; it would be far more damaging in the long run if you didn't see her than if you did

There is no right way or wrong what you feel is going to be right for you. I am sure your friend would understand whatever decision that you decide. Some people may chose to stay away because they had good memories of those when they were alive..others may go for closure as Jennie Jack has stated above.

My Mum died last November but I had chosen not to see her in a coffin, my last memories where when I was keeping a bedside vigil at the hospital, I had decided 2 days before she passed away to stay away from the hospital as it was very hurtful seeing my Mum slowly deteriorating..there was many times I had whispered in her ear to go to sleep, not to hold out for the sake of us..I guess now she has chosen her time to go when nobody was there as in immediate family.

i say go, i saw my Dad and im glad i did, if you dont and you might always regret it, seeing her finally at peace may be good for you, hope you make that right decision, everyone is different

Basically it all boils down to how you want to remember them, you will still remember how they there were but as has been said already, your first thought will be of them in their coffin.

I'm torn, I have seen both my grandparents in their coffin and touched their cold hands. You even notice thing like hairs on their face which you didn't notice before. Part of me wishes I hadn't but think that on the whole It was for the best.

If the body wasn't fit for viewing it would be a closed coffin. That happened to my uncle and his daughter was given a lock of hair by the undertaker to remember him by.

All depends on the memories.

Original Poster

I am really touched by all the heart felt comments every one has written. I am 95% certain I want to go now but have decided whatever gut feeling I have when I get there is the one I am going to go with. You are all very kind :friends:
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