Friday, November 05, 2004

The Witnessed Bagging

For the first time ever, I had a family member *insist* on watching their deceased loved one bagged and *insist* on escorting the deceased to the morgue.

Family members are not allowed to go inside the morgue, however nothing official prevents them from riding in the elevator and walking alongside the gourney en route to the morgue.

What would make someone want to go through this portion of the process? Does hearing the sound of the zipper and the smell of the thick plastic of the body bag help them come to terms with their loss?

I was expecting the family member to freak out. He'd already displayed emotional outbursts after his brother died that were so intense that he had frightened the day-shift nurse. If his grief was so strong and close to the surface, could he handle the potential trauma of seeing the white bag slowly obscure his beloved brother entirely from his view?

People usually know what they can handle, I suppose. As he apparently did. He remained calm throughout the entire experience and even thanked all of the staff afterwards for their care towards his brother.

No comments: