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Leaving Home for the Last Time

Updated on February 20, 2014
Customs and Religious Protocols Different cultural beliefs at time of death
Customs and Religious Protocols Different cultural beliefs at time of death | Source

When the time comes for your loved one to be transported to the Funeral Home, it can be quite heart wrenching watching them depart laying in a body bag.

When my dad passed away he was in the hospital, so I didn’t see him being taken away, and to be honest, I would have rather not seen my mom being taken away either. I can’t even think of the right words to express what it felt like watching her being taken away. You’re already a wreck because they’ve died, and now you have to watch them being rolled away on a gurney, all zipped up in a body bag. It’s horrible!

I remember saying at the time, that I would have never wanted any small children to have been there to view mom leaving like that. This is something you have to think about if you’re in the situation of caring for someone who will likely pass away at home. If you have young children, what is the plan for when the dreaded day comes and your loved one passes? Are your children going to be there at the house, or is someone going to take them out of the house, or to another part of the house away from the situation?

If you have children in your neighborhood, you might consider pre-arranging with a neighbor to act as messenger for when the time comes. That way if there’s any children playing out side in eyeshot of your loved one being taken from the house to the funeral car, the designated neighbor could go let the parents know what is going to be happening, so that they can make the decision if they want there children to come in the house until it’s all over. I’m sure there are a lot of parents that wouldn’t want their younger children seeing their neighbor being taken away like that.

The driver for mom did ask if we wanted mom’s head covered or uncovered when they roll her outside, we opted for her head to be covered, because if any neighbors were out, we didn’t want them to see her face, it didn’t look like her, and we want people to remember mom in life not death.

There’s things that you can prepare for, have a plan of action so that when the time comes you can do what needs to be done. But, there’s nothing that can prepare you for that final goodbye, before your loved one leaves home for the last time.

One Year Later

A year has passed since I wrote the above, but I still feel exactly the same as I did back then. Watching my mom being taken away, as I described above, is a memory I would rather not have had. There has got to be a better way to take your deceased loved one from the home.

As I look back to that day, I wish I would have at least covered the body bag with one of my mom’s pretty little throw blankets that she used to cover herself up with when she took a nap; that would have been a little better visual than the black body bag was.

There’s no preparing yourself for watching your loved one’s final departure from home, it is indescribably difficult, but I do think, at minimum, you can do something to soften the look of the body bag. Believe me when I say this; anything that you could think of to make that event any easier, by all means, do! Your loved one’s final departure from home takes but a brief moment in time, but it is a long lasting memory for you and your family.

Tree of  Life
Tree of Life | Source

A Tapestry Option

I found some tapestry sheets online. They come in all different patterns and are not very expensive. Something like that could be an option for a covering.

My Tapestry
My Tapestry

My Tapestry

Anyone who is very close to me knows that I love the study of the heavens. I found a tapestry with that theme and it gave me an idea; I’m going to buy the tapestry and put it away to be used for such a time. I've written a little poem to be put away with the tapestry, and hopefully that will be of comfort to my loved ones left behind, at minimum I feel that it is something more personal from me.

The Heavenly Cover

The heavens await the souls of man,

I dream of such a day

To dance among the shooting stars,

Worlds; light-years away

And one day when my time has come,

this tapestry will give

a witness of the whereabouts

my soul has gone to live.


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