Some people like to visit their loved one in the Chapel of Rest to say goodbye before the funeral itself. C L Birkett & Son Funeral Directors can talk this through with you so you can decide if it’s something that you would like to do. If it is then a day and time for you to visit will be arranged, usually a couple of days before the funeral, once all of the legal documents have been completed by the doctors or coroner where applicable.
After you’ve decided on a coffin or casket, you’ll be able to let us know what you would like the person who has died to be dressed in. This is often their own clothes of your choosing, or we have a range of gowns which complement the style of the coffin or casket if you prefer.
Everyone entrusted into our care is treated with the utmost respect and dignity and prior to be being placed in the coffin or casket will be washed, shaved, dressed, their features set and hair styled, regardless of whether someone is visiting.
We are always happy to accompany you into the chapel and stay with you as long as you would like us to. While there you are welcome to place items into the coffin such as letters, cards, flowers or personal items. Those items will remain in the coffin when it is closed.
Sometimes the person who has died will be referred to HM Coroner for further investigation. This is usually if the death is unexpected, due to an accident or surrounded by suspicious circumstances. If someone has not been treated by a GP or hospital in the 14 days prior to their death, then they will automatically be referred to the Coroner. Sometimes a post mortem may take place to determine the cause of death and if this occurs you will be fully informed by the Coroner’s Office. A post mortem will not alter the appearance of the person who has died or prevent them from being prepared in the same way.
Religious wash and dress
If, as part of your religion, you would like to wash and dress your loved one yourself, this can be arranged. We can organise a suitable day and time for you to have exclusive access to our facilities and provide any assistance you may wish.