I have never liked the rituals that accompany death...the "viewings" especially. They always struck me as creepy and morbid. The deceased never looked quite like themselves and I couldn't imagine why people would want to remember their loved ones that way. Even worse, there are those (including my own mother)who want photos of the person in the coffin. Yikes!
Growing up in a family that doesn't exactly have a reputation for longevity, I attended many funerals as a child. And to this day, as much as I love flowers, walking into a flower shop gives me goosebumps. To me, the smell of a generic mix of flowers is the smell of a funeral home. While I'm not happy with this long-term effect of my childhood funeral experiences, I am glad in an overall sense that I was allowed to attend those funerals as a child. I've met many people who never attended a funeral until adulthood and it was usually the funeral of someone very important in their lives - a parent or a sibling. That's not the time you want to feel unprepared and creeped out.
While I had the benefit(?) of early exposure that helped me to know what to expect and become somewhat immune to the creepiness factor, I still don't care for the funeral process. Bu now, as a more experienced adult, I am able to better understand the need for these rituals that we put ourselves through. In fact today, I was reminded of my early experiences with death and of the need we have for these parting rituals. Today I was reminded that no matter how much we try to protect our children, we simply can't