How will my loved one look?

What to expect of them when visiting the chapel of rest

Lamentation of Christ (Mantenga c. 1480)

To be frank, they won’t look like themselves. If you’ve been to Madam Tussauds then you will have seen my meaning — they’ll be the image of themselves, as if cast in wax, because when death comes their sparkle goes, and when it’s gone we are left with their shell.

They will be dressed as requested and their hair and make-up will reflect the photograph supplied, and they will be lying in their coffin.

They will look at peace — some will have a faint trace of a smile — and their eyes and mouth will be closed and their hands will be clasped at their waist.

They will appear gaunt and grey * — they will each be subject to the passage of nature — and they will be cold to the touch.

Personally, I found a haunting beauty when looking upon them — I found them to look so thoroughly at rest.

* Embalming can return some of the hue and fluid to their skin.

Tomos James