When many people think about the need for a closed casket for a family member's funeral, they picture a maimed body as a result of a car accident, a fire, or an industrial incident. Should you have the unfortunate situation of a loved one passing away due to drowning and find yourself planning the service, you might initially want to move forward with an open casket because you assume that the person won't have visible injuries and may actually look at peace. Generally, however, an open casket at the funeral of a drowning victim is a bad idea. Here are some reasons that a closed casket in this situation is a better choice.
The Body Will Appear Bloated
One of the physical changes that occurs in a body when it drowns is that it gets bloated. This can especially be the case if the body was submerged in the water for an extended period of time before it was recovered. While the funeral home attendees who work on the body to prepare it for the funeral service can work wonders, removing the bloating can be a challenge. The result can be that your loved one looks heavier than he or she was, which could be upsetting to those at the funeral service should you opt for an open casket.
An Autopsy Will Delay The Funeral
Autopsies are almost certain after suspected drowning deaths. While a medical examiner's incisions and markings can usually be covered by the deceased's clothing for an open casket funeral, you have to consider that the autopsy will delay the funeral. This can mean that the body sits for longer than it would otherwise, which can lead to some subtle changes in the body's appearance. To counteract these changes, the funeral home attendees may need to apply heavy cosmetics to your family member to give him or her an appropriate appearance, and this may be something that you don't favor.
The Skin Appearance May Look Unnatural
Even if the body of the deceased is recovered from the water quickly enough that bloating isn't a major factor, a person's skin changes in appearance due to exposure to the water. This may mean that your loved one's skin appears loose or wrinkled and doesn't look right. Funeral home employees will use a variety of means to give the skin as natural an appearance as possible, but as an immediate family member, you may still be highly sensitive to the skin's appearance. For this reason, a closed casket can be the better choice.
Contact a company like Maham Funeral Home for more information and assistance.