Our Physical Care of the Body

Once the body of a deceased person has been received into our Chapel of Rest it is usual to carry out a certain amount of preparation and dressing to restore their dignity. Either at the time of the removal or at the arrangements interview the family would be asked if the person should be dressed in any particular clothing, for instance a favourite dress or suit. Alternatively we can provide a funeral gown.

If you wished to carry out the washing and dressing of your loved one yourself this is always possible.  We would be happy to provide any help you may need.  It is also always an option to keep your loved one at home until the funeral.

If a family wants to come to visit the person who has died we can discuss with them at the arrangements interview whether embalming or any other restorative procedures should be carried out.  It is often not necessary to carry out embalming but it does make sense in some circumstances.  We promise we will only carry out embalming if it is desirable or legally required (i.e for international transportation) and if you have agreed to it.  The problem with the word embalming is that it conjures up images of ancient Egyptians and mysterious practices. Modern embalming has no connection with any of this; it is a scientific process in many ways similar to a blood transfusion. Its purposes are to arrest any physical change between death and the funeral, to create a sanitary condition, and to restore a normal appearance.  In this way a family can visit the Chapel of Rest with confidence, knowing that the last visual memory they keep of their loved one will be of help to them in coming to terms with their bereavement. This part of the funeral director’s work is not something that everyone finds easy to talk about or even contemplate but we can explain things with sensitivity in as much or as little detail as you need so that you can make an informed choice.

For members of the local Islamic community we have a room where Ghusl Mayyit (ritual washing of the deceased) can be carried out by family and friends.