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Print and share this planning guide with family, friends and your funeral director as you finalize your plans.



Sometimes called the wake, calling hours and viewing, the visitation is a time for friends and family to support one another in their grief. The body is often present in an open or unopened casket, allowing you and others who loved the person who has died to acknowledge the reality of the death and to have the privilege of saying goodbye.

Receiving friends through a visitation activates your support system and allows others to express their concern and love for you. They will remember you invited them and often stay more available to you in the months that follow the death. In other words, having a visitation encourages you to openly and honestly mourn the death.

The Importance of the Body at the Visitation