Open Vs. Closed Casket Considerations Following A Person's Overdose Death

Relationships & Family Blog

A family member who dies suddenly and unexpectedly is a highly tragic time for you and the surviving family members, but this time can be even more difficult when you learn that the person passed away due to a drug overdose. The fact that the person was at least somewhat responsible for his or her own death can be tough to take, but you'll need to set your grieving aside, at least temporarily, while you tend to the details of the funeral. One detail that you'll need to plan is whether you'll have an open casket or a closed one. Here are some considerations based on this difficult situation.

The Person May Not Look Normal

A person who has used drugs extensively will often appear as a shadow of his or her former self. The person's facial features, which will be on full display should you choose to proceed with an open casket service, may be troubling to those in attendance. 

For example, he or she may have sunken eyes and cheeks, facial scars, and other similar issues, depending on the person's drug of choice. While the funeral home employees can dramatically improve how people look before the service, the reality is that how your family member looks may be too upsetting for people to see.

You Could Make A Statement

People grieve in a multitude of ways, and you may be eager for the overdose death of your loved one to send an anti-drug message. Instead of closing the casket because of the appearance of your family member, you may think about having the casket open so that people can see exactly what drugs do to an individual. This is a hard decision to make, and not everyone will agree with it. However, you may feel that you're helping those in attendance who may have their own struggles with drugs.

Family Can View The Body

Should you decide that your loved one's appearance will be too much for those in attendance, a closed casket is likely your preference. Keep in mind that some people in your family may feel that an open casket brings closure, so it's worthwhile to check if anyone wishes to see your family member before the casket is closed. 

If so, talk to the funeral director about arranging some time with the person's body after it's prepared. Family members can sit with the body for a short period of time, even in the case of a closed casket service.

Contact a company like Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home Inc for more information and assistance. 


3 April 2018

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