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Mortuary toilet:what does it consist of?

Mortuary toilet:what does it consist of?

The mortuary toilet lavished on the deceased is a step that takes place very shortly after death and which consists of restoring the deceased person's dignity and appearance as natural as possible. These are universal gestures that have been practiced for a very long time and which contribute in particular to the long process of mourning for loved ones. This act is the last one generally carried out by the medical team who took care of the person until his death. The mortuary toilet can take different forms, in particular depending on the religious beliefs of the deceased.

The mortuary toilet:an act of respect and dignity for the deceased, but also for their loved ones

The mortuary toilet is an act carried out in principle by the nursing staff, most often a nurse and a nursing assistant, at the place of death of a person, generally in a hospital room, of a retirement home or any other health facility. However, in certain special cases, the mortuary toilet can be organized directly by the relatives at the home of the deceased in particular.

This stage, which takes place shortly after death and which generally lasts an average of 45 minutes, aims to erase certain stigmata caused by death which can degrade the body of the deceased, as well as the marks left by the period of agony which usually precedes death. The mortuary toilet is also intended to erase as much as possible the traces of illness or various traumas.

The mortuary toilet is thus an act of respect and dignity towards the deceased, but it is also intended to give relatives an image of the deceased neat, rested, relaxed, and above all as close as possible to that which he had before his death. . A necessary step to facilitate the work of mourning for loved ones.

The mortuary toilet of a deceased occurs in principle before the body is transported to a mortuary room where conservation care is then performed by an embalmer if the family wishes. Depending on the wishes of the relatives of the deceased, the mortuary toilet can also be carried out by this professional.

How is a mortuary toilet performed?

Concretely, a mortuary toilet begins with the removal of all medical devices, such as infusions, pipes or other connections, to which the person could be connected before his death in order to receive care. It may also involve removing unnecessary dressings or plaster, for example. If necessary, it is also at this stage that the pacemaker is also extracted.

The nursing staff who take care of the mortuary toilet then make sure to remove the personal belongings of the deceased such as their hearing aids, glasses, clothes, jewelry, etc.

Then, the actual mortuary toilet consists of cleaning the body of the deceased, in principle from top to bottom, using soap and water. At this time, the nursing staff, the family or relatives if they wish, close the eyes of the deceased if necessary and keep the jaw of the deceased closed with a sheet wrapped around it. of the head, the latter tilted slightly forward.

In order to preserve the most faithful appearance of the deceased person, it is also during the mortuary toilet that the deceased is groomed while respecting his style and styling habits as much as possible.

Finally, the people in charge of the mortuary toilet obstruct the natural orifices of the deceased using cotton and replace the essential dressings, for example to cover any wounds.

Following the mortuary toilet, the body of the deceased is covered with a sheet and he is generally taken to a mortuary room where he is dressed and positioned to be presented to his loved ones.

A mortuary toilet with different rites depending on the religion

According to religious beliefs, the mortuary toilet can respond to different processes and rites. In this case, it can be supported by religious representatives such as imams, rabbis, etc.

For Muslims, the mortuary toilet is an important and essential moment during which the body of the deceased is purified. This stage, during which the prayer for the dead is recited, is taken care of by family or friends recognized for their religiosity, or by imams. Except in the case of married people or children, women carry out the mortuary toilet of women, men to those of deceased men.

The deceased is oriented towards Mecca, the cleaning of the body is carried out with the left hand with cold or lukewarm water at least three times, any makeup or stains are removed, among other things. So many gestures among others carried out with gentleness, respect and attention.

The Jewish religion also provides very specific rites for the realization of the mortuary toilet of a deceased. This act is also synonymous with purification. The deceased is thus at this stage lying down, his arms placed against his sides, his eyelids and his mouth are closed, and he is covered with a white sheet.

The mortuary toilet is carried out essentially by sacred brotherhoods, men for the male deceased, women for the deceased. It consists in particular of washing the body with plenty of lukewarm water, which always remains covered with a sheet. It is then dried with clean cloths, a moment of the mortuary toilet where sacred words are pronounced.