A viewing is a chance for family and friends to spend time with the deceased and to bid farewell in their own special way. A viewing is generally arranged at a time suitable to the family before or at the time of funeral. The body will generally be presented at the viewing in a coffin or casket dressed in clothing supplied by the family or in a shroud like garment supplied by the funeral director. A viewing can help people come to terms with the reality of death.
This is especially important if the death was unexpected or if there are family and friends who had not seen the deceased recently. Children may also benefit from attending the viewing. At the viewing family and friends are welcome to place sentimental items, personal letters, photos, flowers and other memorabilia in the coffin/casket if desired. It is a very personal time between the family, other mourners and the deceased.